Medical group reacts to Daugaard budgetSDSMA calls proposal ‘step in right direction’ but has concerns about access to care, underfunded Medicaid.
By: Staff reports, The Daily Republic
The state medical association on Wednesday called Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s proposed 3 percent boost to Medicaid reimbursements “an important step in the right direction” but also expressed concerns about access to care.
The South Dakota State Medical Association represents 2,000 members, including physicians, members and medical students. Daugaard presented his proposed fiscal year 2014 budget Tuesday in a speech to legislators.
“The SDSMA is concerned that the Medicaid program is still underfunded and Governor Daugaard’s proposed increase in Medicaid reimbursement rates for the fiscal 2014 budget year won’t be adequate to bolster access to care for Medicaid patients over the long run,” said the group’s written statement.
The association said it is concerned about whether the federal government will resolve issues with the Affordable Care Act or leave poor people without coverage. A recent Supreme Court ruling made it optional for states to expand Medicaid to low-income adults making up to 138 percent of poverty-level income.
“Based on this ruling, Congress should rework the provision in the ACA that provided coverage for those who are least able to pay for care,” said SDSMA President Dr. Robert Allison. “We should not provide coverage through state programs that are underfunded or provide financial assistance to individuals who make up to 400 percent of poverty while denying coverage for those below poverty. It makes no sense, and Congress should be accountable to fix the law.”
During the 2013 legislative session, the association pledged it will advocate that lawmakers assure adequate funding for the health and wellness of South Dakotans who depend on the Medicaid program, including disabled people, the poor elderly and children.