Politics

South Dakota Medicaid Expansion Put On Hold [VIDEO]

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter
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South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard announced Monday the state’s Medicaid expansion will not take place during the current legislative session.

With just 10 legislative days left, the Republican politician said there is not enough time for lawmakers to look into implementation and discuss the financial impact.

“So, given this time frame, I’ve concluded that to urge legislative approval of a Medicaid expansion decision this session would not give the legislature adequate time to give fair and dispassionate consideration to the proposal,” he said at a press conference at the state captiol. “Accordingly, I’m going to be asking the legislative appropriators to amend the general appropriation bill to remove the federal funding authority which would enable expansion in fiscal year 2017.”

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While the timeline has been pushed back, the governor made it clear the idea is not dead, saying lawmakers will continue to work to “implement the federal policy and determine if it will free up sufficient funds to enable South Dakota to afford Medicaid expansion.”

Daugaard has floated expanding eligibility to the entitlement program to an additional 50,000 people in the state, the Associated Press reports.

South Dakota is currently one of the 19 states that has opted out of expansion under Obamacare.

The Obama administration has proposed extending an expiring Obamacare provision that temporarily covers the cost of Medicaid expansion for states. The GOP-controlled Congress, which has not backed down from its efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, will likely reject the president’s proposal due to its cost.

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