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South Dakota legislature kills Medicaid expansion

A proposal to expand Medicaid eligibility in the state was killed in the South Dakota Senate Tuesday.
Published: Feb. 16, 2022 at 5:10 PM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - A proposal to expand Medicaid eligibility in the state was killed in the South Dakota Senate Tuesday.

Republican Senator Wayne Steinhauer brought a proposal that would have provided Medicaid eligibility for residents below 133% of the federal poverty level, essentially, those making $18,000 a year or less.

Doing so would have allowed the state access to over $300 million in federal funds -- that still sit untouched over a decade after the Affordable Care Act was passed.

Now with the state legislature failing to act on the issue, the decision to expand Medicaid is now in the hands of South Dakota voters, who will vote on a constitutional amendment in the fall.

”We know based on the research that’s been done by the AARP and others, that there’s a large majority of South Dakotans who feel that it’s really important that we have accessibility to Medicaid for those who need it,” says Jill Franken, AARP South Dakota Volunteer Executive Council Member.

Franken is a part of a coalition of healthcare systems working to get the amendment passed.

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