The headline “Lawmakers urged to expand Medicaid” topped the front page of Monday’s Rapid City Journal. I also urge my colleagues to expand Medicaid when we come together for the legislative session next month. The proposed expansion would open the Medicaid program to approximately 48,000 people who are unable to afford even subsidized insurance. The argument seems to be that excluding these 48,000 South Dakotans from Medicaid will save us money, but (as I stated in my February 8th post) you and I—the taxpayers—are already paying. The difference is that now we are we are absorbing the expense at a higher cost when treatment is sought at the hospital and in the emergency room.
I will, again, support the proposed expansion in Medicaid this upcoming legislative session and I urge my fellow legislators to join me. It just makes sense.