By Consumers for Quality Care, on November 30, 2022
South Dakota voters approved an extension of Medicaid benefits to over 40,000 low-income residents during this year’s election, according to Forbes.
The state’s voter-approved “Constitutional Amendment D” will expand Medicaid next year to any resident aged 18 to 65 with an income up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level, which equates to about $19,000/year for an individual or $39,000/year for a family of four.
“South Dakotans know their families and neighbors deserve health care without going into debt or avoiding check-ups, procedures, and medication they need. Citizens took matters into their own hands to pass Medicaid expansion via ballot measure — showing us once again that if politicians won’t do their job, their constituents will step up and do it for them,” said Kelly Hall, the Executive Director of the Fairness Project, which has helped several states enact Medicaid expansion.
The expansion of Medicaid benefits under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has come a long way since the U.S. Supreme Court allowed states to put it to a vote in 2012. Some of the states that recently approved Medicaid expansion include Idaho, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Utah.
The 12 states that have yet to expand Medicaid won’t be receiving federal funding of the Medicaid expansion under the ACA. According to estimations from the Fairness Project, the approval of the ballot measure in South Dakota will now allow the state to keep $328 million of federal tax dollars in-state each year.
CQC urges all remaining states to expand Medicaid benefits to ensure their residents who need it most have access to affordable, high-quality health care.