Official: Governor against expansion of Medicaid in SDGov. Dennis Daugaard has decided against recommending an expansion of Medicaid for now, but the governor and lawmakers could decide to make that move later.
By: Chet Brokaw, The Associated Press
PIERRE — Gov. Dennis Daugaard decided against expanding Medicaid to cover thousands of additional low-income South Dakotans because he’s uncertain the federal government can afford to pay the bulk of the cost, a state official told lawmakers Thursday.
Deb Bowman, a senior adviser to the Republican governor, said Daugaard has decided against recommending an expansion of Medicaid for now, but the governor and lawmakers could decide to make that move later.
Bowman and other state officials briefed state lawmakers on the Medicaid expansion, a part of the federal health care overhaul, in an hour-long meeting attended by about half the members of the House and Senate.
Some lawmakers, particularly members of the Democratic minority, said South Dakota should take advantage of generous federal funding to cover an additional 48,000 people in the state-federal program that covers health care for the poor and disabled. Others urged caution, saying they want more information or oppose increasing federal spending for the program.
The state’s Medicaid program covers about 116,000 children, adults and disabled people, or about one in every seven South Dakotans. If the state decided to expand eligibility, an estimated 48,000, mostly adults without children, would be added to the program.