North Dakota expands Medicaid coverage

A few days ago Bob Mercer posted the following on hist blog Pure Pierre Politics:

“On Tuesday, the North Dakota Senate voted for legislation that would expand Medicaid coverage. The measure now heads to the governor. That is a contrast to South Dakota, where the Legislature’s majority of Republicans and Gov. Dennis Daugaard decided that 2013 wasn’t the time yet. Here’s the North Dakota story by Bismarck Tribune reporter Nick Smith: ”

My thought on the subject is that my colleagues, in South Dakota showed rare bad judgement. Our failure to do the same as North Dakota will cost most citizens $59M–that is FIFTY NINE MILLION DOLLARS!  I proposed an amendment to the General Bill that would have done the exact same thing as North Dakota is now doing.  The proposal showed the specific costs (losses) for Hospitals and Clinics that must be paid for by increased Health Insurance premiums, increased deductibles, and out of pocket cost for most of us.

This is an invisible tax–from an administration that protests “no new taxes.”  In fact the General Bill spent–that is the taxpayers paid for–more than $20 Million increase in State Employee insurance costs.  “No new tax”? I disagree.

There is a song with a line, referring to British social values titled “A sin is not a sin unless it is seen.”  I guess we could say “a tax is not a tax unless it is seen.”  This is a doozy of something hidden from sight.

Another thing: I have a different view than Mr Mercer in his observation that “the Legislature’s majority of Republicans — decided that 2013 wasn’t the time yet” (to pass the expansion).

To my mind and presence in Pierre “the Legislature’s majority of the Republicans — decided that 2013 wasn’t the time yet” (to challenge a Governor of our party.)

So the citizens lose and PAY and PAY and PAY.

What are your thoughts on the matter?

2013 Legislature—the bad & the ugly

I did “the good” we accomplished a day or so ago.  Now for the bad and the ugly.

We should have repealed that outdated, stupid “alienation of affection law” which makes divorces even nastier than they naturally are.

We should have changed the excessively lower property tax rate that agricultural property pays when compared to commercial and residential real estate of exactly the same dollar value.

We should not have so stubbornly refused to take up the feds on their offer to provide prenatal care for poor women.

Perhaps worst of all, we should not have turned our backs on the 48,000 South Dakotans whom we could have enrolled in Medicaid, with 100% of the cost borne by the feds. It would have saved citizens $50 million in increased insurance costs.

So we still have a lot of work to do…

Looking back at the 2013 Legislature

Sorry, it’s been too long since the last time I posted.  I’ll try to be more disciplined about that.  I’m working on some more stories about my past and the state’s political past, but today I wanted to take one quick look back at the 2013 Legislature.

We did some good.  We extended the tourism tax, a vital engine of the state’s economy, especially west river.  We created a long range economic development program funded by the very increases that the program will bring about.

Now if I can just figure out how to get more people to understand that great schools are the most important economic development program that we can have…