South Dakota lawmakers expect to spend a lot of time studying the Medicaid program during the legislative session that starts Tuesday.
Democrats hope to quickly expand Medicaid to cover an estimated 48,000 additional people. But Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard and Republican lawmakers want more time to study the potential costs of expanding eligibility in the government health care program for the poor.
The federal health care law gives states the option of expanding Medicaid, with the federal government picking up most of the extra cost.
House Democratic Leader Bernie Hunhoff of Yankton says South Dakotans pay federal income tax to support the new law, so the state should use federal money to expand Medicaid.
House Republican Leader David Lust of Rapid City says more information is needed.