SD needs Medicaid Expansion!
- - - What did the 2022 state legislature do or not do to help or not?
A bill to pass Medicaid expansion(SB186) was defeated, leaving the decision up to the voters this November.
Also, there was no attempt to move Amendment C off the June primary ballot, meaning an extra burden to pass Medicaid expansion could apply to the vote in November, where Medicaid expansion could be blocked by only a minority of voters. Amdt.C moves citizen power to the minority.
- - - Who would get healthcare?
We imagine the vulnerability of those without health coverage. In the gospel story of the Good Samaritan, we acknowledge the person lying by the road, and ask who is that person today who needs us to get them to healthcare? Opponents to expansion like to point to “able-bodied” people.
Most who would get healthcare are “able-bodied” poor who are:
the struggling checkout clerks in stores and service stations that you see everyday,
the landscapers and roofers sweating on a hot day,
the small farmers and ranch workers who make up our small rural communities,
the homecare workers giving care in homes of the elderly and people with disabilities, and
many other workers who can’t afford health insurance but whose jobs do not provide it.
In other words, most who would benefit are already working.
Also some people are not “able-bodied” but are in the lengthy process to get official designation for their disabilities.
The question is: Are we going to turn our heads and pass by them on the other side of the road? South Dakota has been walking by them on the other side of the road since 2014, walking by with healthcare in hand but not shared with those in need.
[Thanks to Sister LynnMarie Welbig for some of this wording.]
- - - What about the funding?
As other states are finding to their great advantage, Medicaid expansion is a really good deal for South Dakota. We could bring healthcare to 40,000 friends and neighbors using the federal tax dollars we already pay. At its core, Medicaid expansion costs are split between DC and South Dakota: They pay 90%, we pay 10%. But it gets even better: Recently a law passed offering SD a big bonus for expanding Medicaid that will pay our share of those costs for at least four years.
Then ongoing, we will likely find that Gov.Daugaard’s plan will work to cover all the state’s cost.
But for now, we are missing out. Since 2014, South Dakota has refused a total of over two 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.
- - - What exactly will be on the ballot?
On the November 2022 ballot for ALL voters: We expect it to be called Constitutional Amendment D. It would get healthcare to people ages 19 thru 64 with income is below 138% of the federal poverty level.
On the June 7 primary ballot is a related question for ALL voters: Constitutional Amendment C was admittedly designed to make it harder to pass Medicaid expansion in November, by requiring 60% approval, rather than the usual 50% for statewide ballot votes. This would give a minority the power to block Medicaid expansion even despite a majority vote for it.
“Of all the forms of inequality,
injustice in healthcare
is the most shocking and inhumane.”
-Martin Luther King, Jr.
Here’s a little explainer video made before Missouri and Oklahoma expanded. Now it’s 39 states including DC that have expanded to get many more people covered
ACTION NOW: 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 cause over $10 million to be spent).
Not only was Amendment C expressly designed to make it harder to pass Medicaid expansion, it also takes away power from the people. It would effectively change our state motto from “Under God the people rule” to “Under God the minority rules.”
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 primary.
Even if your party has no candidates on it,
all voters can and should come out and vote. Help stop this
attempted take over of our citizen rights to initiative and referendum.
Then, Vote YES for Medicaid expansion in November.
Working for Medicaid Expansion is life-saving justice work.
Please help to get this very important benefit for
our state and its people.
Below are some pages that can be helpful:
1. Medicaid expansion basics (2 pages)
2. 1-page-size info for churches
3. two half-page-size info for churches
4. Faith Action ideas
5. Sample church announcements
6. Sample church announcements, ELCA
How to download them: The little pop-out symbol in the corner will bring upa pdf version that you can download.