SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakotans will weigh in on the decision to expand Medicaid in the state.
Constitutional Amendment D, which is one of two statewide ballot questions, would amend the South Dakota Constitution to expand Medicaid eligibility to help provide medical coverage for low-income people in designated categories.
The Legislative Research Council’s Fiscal Note for Amendment D says Medicaid expansion would cover 42,500 new individuals for a cost of $1.5 billion in the first five years, where the state would pay $166 million and earn a general fund savings of $162 million.
Proponents – Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender and retired businessman Jim Woster – say passing Amendment D will return more federal tax money to the state and allow South Dakota to use more federal funds on resident’s health.
“Amendment D will strengthen rural hospitals and clinics and make it easier for people in rural South Dakota to get health care,” Allender and Woster wrote in the proponent section in the Secretary of State’s official ballot question pamphlet.
Opponents – Americans for Prosperity State Director Keith Moore – said Medicaid expansion in South Dakota will impact the state’s budget in the future.
“Expanding Medicaid shreds our Constitution and expands services to able-bodied adults under ObamaCare,” Moore wrote in the opponent section in the Secretary of State’s official ballot question pamphlet.
What do local legislative candidates think?
In answers from a KELOLAND News survey sent to more than 110 legislative candidates across the state, a majority of candidates that have responded support Amendment D.
KELOLAND News has compiled responses from more than 60 local candidates and their answers can be found in the chart below.
A total of 39 candidates responded that he or she supports Amendment D, while 14 candidates responded that he or she doesn’t support Amendment D. Another 11 candidates did not directly answer the question or said it would be up to voters to decide.
The breakdown of the candidates who responded to KELOLAND’s candidate survey were 33 Democrat candidates and 31 Republican candidates.
Ahead of the November 8 election, 20 Republicans have already won Senate seats for the 2023-24 term because they have no opponents. At least 35 House seats will go Republican, too, because the only candidates running are Republicans or because challengers haven’t contested both seats in the 35 two-seat districts.