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SDPB Radio Coverage of the South Dakota Legislature. See all coverage and find links to audio and video streams live from the Capitol at www.sdpb.org/statehouse

Governor Wants Partial Medicaid Expansion In SD

Nate Wek

Governor Dennis Daugaard is waiting on a response from US Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius. He wants to see if South Dakota could be granted an option for partial Medicaid expansion. The last time Daugaard asked Secretary Sebelius about this, she told him no.

Governor Daugaard is proposing an idea to partially expand Medicaid in South Dakota. Even though Secretary Sebelius told him no a year ago, he feels optimistic. Daugaard says other states are receiving alternative avenues to Medicaid expansion, so the answer could be different this time. He says the goal of this alternative expansion is to help those South Dakotan's who really need assistance.

"I like the expansion that we’re proposing because it they give a nod to South Dakotan's hold as values: self reliance, determination, perseverance. Those who exhibit those values and yet still can’t care for themselves; we should help them," Governor Daugaard says. 

Daugaard is proposing the expansion to those who fall into the 100 percent poverty line. He says this will assist those who actually need the help, without putting the state through a full Medicaid expansion process. Republican and Democratic lawmakers agree with the plan. The Governor says he’s asked for a speedy response from Secretary Sebelius because the legislative session ends in March.