SD healthcare providers pick sides on Measure 17

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This November, South Dakota voters will be asked to decide on an initiated measure that would require health insurers to include willing and qualified health care providers on their provider lists.

It's known as Initiated Measure 17, and it has some local health care providers digging in on both sides of the issue.

Regional Health opposes the measure, saying a 'Yes' vote could increase the cost of healthcare among South Dakota residents by as much as 20%.

Regional Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Klocke says, "If all patients can go to all providers, no provider can provide that discounted rate anymore for the health plan and therefore, the have to raise their premium prices."

Meanwhile, some local physicians say voting 'Yes' on Measure 17 would protect a patient's choice in what doctor they would like to see.

Rapid City physician Dr. Nancy Babbitt says, "Voting yes on Measure 17 really prevents large insurance companies and large healthcare conglomerates to not put a wedge between the physician and the patient."

17 is one of two initiated measures that will appear on the ballot during the November 4th election. The other could raise the state's minimum wage.