There’s a misconception that needs correction. The notion seems to be that if we deny Medicaid coverage to the working poor, it will somehow save money.
Well, true, it might save taxes — but you and I, my fellow South Dakotans — are going to pay one way or another. Every person who is right now paying for health insurance, or who pays hospital or doctor bills, is paying for health care that is received by fellow South Dakotans who do NOT have health insurance.
You are paying those costs via higher insurance rates and higher hospital and medical fees, because when those folks finally show up in the Emergency Room, they cannot be turned away. A problem that might have cost $100 in a doctor’s office visit costs many times more when it turns into an emergency room visit.
There are 48,000 South Dakotans in this category and the hidden tax (paid via higher insurance rates and provider fees) is $9 million per year FROM HOSPITALS ALONE. Add in clinics, labs, nursing homes, mental health centers, etc. and the hidden tax gets even larger.