To South Dakota's governor and legislature: Stop blocking the Medicaid expansion

To: Governor Daugaard and the South Dakota state legislature

To South Dakota's governor and legislature: Stop blocking the Medicaid expansion
637
of 800 signatures
South Dakota, United States
Campaign created by Sharon Schulz-Elsing Icon-email

Denying federally-funded health insurance to South Dakota residents in need is unconscionable. Stop playing games with the health of your constituents and take immediate steps to accept Medicaid expansion funding under the Affordable Care Act.

Why is this important?

One of the most important provisions of the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) expanded Medicaid eligibility to all Americans whose income is less than 133% of the federal poverty level – about $15,000 per year for individuals and about $30,000 per year for families of four.

Many of these individuals do not receive healthcare from their employer and do not earn enough money to afford it on the private insurance market, so expanding Medicaid eligibility was a smart policy approach to decrease the number of Americans without health insurance.

According to the Urban Institute, in South Dakota alone there are 30,000 people who should be receiving free healthcare coverage under the Medicaid expansion. But a Supreme Court decision last year in National Federation of Independent Businesses v. Sebelius gave states the opportunity to opt-out of Medicaid.

In an attempt to undermine the Affordable Care Act and prevent it from providing healthcare coverage to their constituents, government officials in 20 states – including South Dakota – have decided to refuse federal funding and prevent millions of Americans from receiving the Medicaid coverage they need.

Refusing to accept Medicaid funding from the federal government isn’t just bad for South Dakota residents, it is also bad for the state’s finances. According to a study released on December 5 by the Commonwealth Fund, states that refuse federal funding to expand Medicaid stand to collectively lose tens of billions of dollars per year by 2022. In SD, for example, by refusing to accept federal funding for health coverage, Governor Daugaard and the state legislature are losing out on an estimated $307 million per year starting in 2022.

Recently, Ohio's Republican governor John Kasich became the 8th Republican governor to accept the Medicaid funds. Unfortunately, 20 other Republican governors are still refusing to accept the funds, even though the federal government is picking up 100 percent of the cost through 2016 and 90 percent in the following years.

Republican Governors are vulnerable on this issue. Across the country, they are coming under heavy scrutiny for playing games with their constituents’ healthcare and blocking their access to Medicaid. With the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion now in effect in dozens of other states, now is the perfect time to ramp up grassroots pressure on Governor Daugaard and state legislators to provide their constituents with the healthcare coverage they deserve.

REFERENCES:
http://www.urban.org/health_policy/health_care_reform/map.cfm
http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/obamacare-medicaid-expansion-red-state-losses
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/files/2013/12/1718_Glied_how_states_stand_gain_lose_Medicaid_expansion_ib_v2.pdf (Lost funding by state on page 9)
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/12/03/medicaid-expansion-becomes-weapon-against-gop-governors/

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