Medicaid Expansion for SD

last updated 1/28/21

SD needs Medicaid Expansion:
A Matter of Health and Fairness

It's available to South Dakota now. It would come with a super generous 9-to-1 funding match. Over 40,000 low-wage SD workers need it - now!

We should not have to wait for a ballot initiative to get health coverage for low-income South Dakotans. Please ask the Governor and State Legislators to open their hands to their needy neighbors and give this health coverage now.

--> Racial justice. The Covid pandemic has laid bare the disparities in health, disease, and healthcare coverage.

--> Fairness to low-wage workers. Many are unable to work from home, often working on the front lines of the pandemic (cleaning, homecare, childcare, . . .).

--> Help to those who have lost jobs. Unemployment is up. Losing a job can mean losing health coverage.

--> A Responsible Response to a pandemic. We’ll never know how many uninsured people missed or delayed a Covid test or medical care, because of the expense, and then passed the virus on to others.

--> Healthcare justice. “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in healthcare is the most shocking and inhumane. -Martin Luther King, Jr.

--> Government efficiency. Other states and Governor Daugaard have figured out how to do Medicaid Expansion without adverse effect on state budgets.1, 2 It would: Bring a big investment in South Dakota; Support hospitals, especially rural ones; Help families prevent bankruptcies; Create jobs; and Provide addiction treatment and mental health treatment.3 Since 2014, South Dakota has turned down a total $2 Billion in federal healthcare funds. We’ve missed out both on the funds AND on the justice.

South Dakota could do this! So far, 38 states and DC have accepted this generous offer from the feds. It’s available here now to bring health coverage to over 40,000 low-income South Dakotans.

What to do?:
A pandemic is a perfect time to speak up for Medicaid expansion.

What are we waiting for? SD workers need it as much as workers in other states do.

--> Ask Governor Noem to expand Medicaid now, during this pandemic, when it will help the most.

--> Ask all your State Legislators to get Medicaid expansion for our state.

To find your state legislators, go to

“For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’” -Deuteronomy 15:11
- - - - -footnotes - - - - -

1"Paying for Medicaid - State Budgets and the Case for Expansion in the Time of Coronavirus", New England Journal of Medicine, March 31, 2020.
2South Dakota Health Care Solutions Coalition Final Report, 2016 for Governor Daugaard,
3Mark Hall, Health Law and Policy Program at Wake Forest University and the Brookings Institute, “Do states regret expanding Medicaid?” Brookings Institute. March 26, 2018,“We’re seeing in each state, the expansion has created jobs, helped keep hospitals afloat, supported the tax base. The economic benefits also enabled people to get jobs”. He says that’s something states are recognizing, no matter which party leads the capitol. CCB, 1/28/21