SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota voters are already weighing in on the debate to expand Medicaid in the state.
The South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry announced its organization will be supporting Constitutional Amendment D. Amendment D would amend the South Dakota Constitution to expand Medicaid eligibility to help provide medical coverage for low-income people in designated categories.
“Amendment D gets health care to more working people in South Dakota so they can stay on the job,” the news release stated. “The South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry believes that expanding Medicaid will have a positive impact on helping people in low wage jobs secure health care services and remain in the workforce as healthier people.”
The Legislative Research Council’s Fiscal Note for Amendment D says Medicaid expansion would cover 42,500 new individuals for a cost of $297 million, which would cost the state $32.5 million and give $63.5 million in general fund savings.
No on Amendment D group forms
Earlier this month, a group opposing Amendment D filed paperwork with the secretary of state’s office.
The statewide ballot question committee is called “No on Amendment D” and lists two Republican lawmakers as the committee chair and committee treasurer.
Sen. John Wiik (R-Big Stone City) is the chair and Sen. Ryan Maher (R-Isabel) is the treasurer. Both Maher and Wiik are the lone candidates for their respective districts and will be reelected to the state Senate. In February, the Senate voted 23-12 against a bill that would have expanded Medicaid in the state.
“We want the marketplace, not the federal government, to be in charge of your health care,” Wiik told lawmakers in February.
The group in favor of Amendment D, South Dakotans Decide Healthcare, has released two TV ads promoting Medicaid expansion. The No on Amendment D group hasn’t released any advertising yet.
Campaign finance for the two groups will be released on Oct. 24.
The deadline to register before the November election is October 24. Election Day is Nov. 8.