SD needs Medicaid Expansion!
Why state legislators should pass it this session:
-- End the wait. They have waited long enough (too long already). Over the past 8 years, we missed out on this benefit to the state and to lives of the people. We’ll never know the damage to lives, health, and family finances.
-- Respect for life, health and work. An estimated 42,500 South Dakotans need it. Most are low-wage workers. They are ages 19-64, and many are in a "coverage gap" with no affordable option for health coverage. The losses of life and health continue without this expansion.(1)
-- New money. Now they can access a new, amazing federal match: a return of 369 to one. (For the next 5 years, the estimate is that SD’s $3.8 million would bring in a federal $1.4 BILLION. Legislators usually get excited about a 2:1 or 3:1 match. Now how about this 369:1?)
-- More state experience. Now more states have implemented Medicaid expansion. 39 states + DC, with both Republican and Democrat leadership. NONE of them has turned back. ALL of them are benefitting their states’ people and economies.(2)
-- The pandemiccontinues its destructive path on people’s health, family finances and businesses. No one should hesitate to get the care they need. Healthcare bills for people who lose their usual income and for those continuing work in low-wage jobs could be covered.
-- Healthcare sooner. Sure, Medicaid expansion will be on the ballot in November.
HOWEVER, the healthcare would start a year sooner, if the Legislature would act now, this year, rather than July 2023.
-- South Dakotans want it. By passing Medicaid expansion, legislators could truly represent the people.(3)
-- It’s affordable. Even if it weren’t for the new federal incentive funding, other states and former SD Governor Daugaard have figured out how to do Medicaid Expansion without adverse effect on state budgets.(4)(5)And now we are missing out. Since 2014, South Dakota has refused a total of over $2 Billion much needed healthcare dollars and the healthcare it would have brought, including support to health facilities, especially rural ones. We’ve missed out on the funds AND on the healthcare AND on the justice.
-- Positive impact on both health and the economy. “…the remaining holdout states have few if any defensible economic or public health reasons to refuse to expand Medicaid.”(6)
Here’s a little explainer video made before Missouri and Oklahoma expanded. Now it’s 39 states including DC that have expanded and many more people covered.
What to do: Ask the governor and state legislators to adopt Medicaid expansion now, in this legislative session.
Find your state legislators and their contact info here: https://sdlegislature.gov/Legislators/Listing/64
“Of all the forms of inequality,
injustice in healthcare
is the most shocking and inhumane.”
-Martin Luther King, Jr.
Speak up for Medicaid expansion.
--> Ask Governor Noem and State Legislators to expand Medicaid now, during this session, during this pandemic.
--> Encourage others: neighbors, local paper, organizations, and church members.
MEANWHILE: Help spread the word to OPPOSE Amendment C. Post cards are coming to homes making outrageous claims for Amdt C (which would change the state Constitution to require a 60% vote to pass initiatives that raise a tax or create over $10 million in spending).
HOWEVER, the fact is: Amendment C is not only an openly-stated attack on Medicaid expansion. It also is a direct attack on the power of the people. It is a direct attack on our state motto “Under God the people rule.” It takes away power from the peopleand puts it in the hands of the minority. It is an attack on the way we do democracy in America, where the majority will of the people is the standard.
Majority vote by the citizenry has been a long-revered South Dakota right for over 100 years. Initiatives should pass when a majority approves.
VOTE No on C in the June 2022 primary.
Even if your party has no candidates on it, you can and should come out and vote. We must stop this new limitation on our citizen rights to initiative and referendum.
Then vote YES on D in November.
Working for Medicaid Expansion is life-saving justice work.
Please help us get this very important benefit for
our state and its people.
- - - - -footnotes - - - - -
(4) "Paying for Medicaid - State Budgets and the Case for Expansion in the Time of Coronavirus", New England Journal of Medicine, March 31, 2020. https://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMp2007124
(5) South Dakota Health Care Solutions Coalition Final Report, 2016 for Governor Daugaard, https://boardsandcommissions.sd.gov/bcuploads/PublicDocs/SD%20HCSC%20Final%20Report%20Dec%202016.pdf
Below are some pages that might be helpful:
1. Medicaid expansion basics
2. 1-page size info for churches
3. two half-page size info for churches
4. Faith Action ideas
5. Sample church bulletin announcements
6. Sample church bulletin announcements, ELCA
How to download them: The little pop-out symbol in the corner will bring upa pdf version that you can download.