SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A majority of South Dakotans who voted in Tuesday’s primary election said no to Amendment C.
67% of voters along with South Dakota’s three largest health care systems all took a stand against Amendment C.
“It was very clear that this was partially a direct assault on Medicaid expansion so we were incredibly pleased with the results because we feel it’s a strong indicator that voters are wanting the opportunity to expand Medicaid in November,” said David Benson, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.
South Dakota is one of 12 states that has not expanded Medicaid. Voters will have the chance to change that in November.
“We’re talking about giving people an opportunity to go visit a doctor,” said David Benson, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.
Medicaid expansion will provide more than 40 thousand South Dakotans making less than 18 thousand a year for individuals or 36 thousand a year for a family of four the access to health care coverage.
“They’re either working two or three jobs, or they’re taking care of elderly parents or disabled relatives. Students who are no longer on their parents’ policies who are going to school,” said Rick Weiland, Co-Founder of Dakotans 4 Health.
“It’s important that we expand Medicaid in the state, that we impact 40 thousand hard-working South Dakotans to have meaningful access to health care coverage. It’s going to save lives and it’s going to increase the funding opportunities we have to bring back tax dollars to the state,” Benson said.
Medicaid expansion has come up in the legislature many times.
Just this year, the South Dakota Senate voted 23-to-12 to kill a bill that would have expanded Medicaid to more people.
Opponents questioned funding. One lawmaker said it could take money that would otherwise flow as state aid to education.