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SD Lawmakers Ponder Medicaid Expansion Questions

January 10, 2013, 5:24 PM


A state official says South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard decided against expanding Medicaid to cover thousands of additional low-income residents because he's uncertain the federal government can afford to pay the bulk of the cost.

Deb Bowman, a senior adviser to the governor, says Daugaard's decision is based on available facts. Bowman and other officials briefed South Dakota lawmakers on the Medicaid expansion issue Thursday.

Officials say if South Dakota expands Medicaid, the federal government would pay $2.1 billion from 2014 through 2020 to cover an additional 48,000 people in the insurance program for low-income people. The state would pay $102 million for the expansion during those years.

Some lawmakers say South Dakota should expand Medicaid to help those additional people. Others say they need more information before deciding.

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