South Dakota: GOP celebrates death of Medicaid expansion
A special session for Medicaid expansion will have to wait, Gov. Dennis Daugaard announced Wednesday.
After a weeks-long effort to lobby enough lawmakers to get the proposal approved in the Statehouse, Daugaard announced in a statement that he wouldn't call lawmakers back to Pierre.
Citing the upcoming presidential election that could result in substantial changes to the federal health insurance program for needy people, Daugaard said a special session was off the table.
“We have a good plan that would increase health care access at no additional state cost and guarantee that the federal government won’t shift its responsibility to pay for Native American health care to the state,” Daugaard said in a statement. “Still, I have heard from legislators that they would like more time to study this plan and in particular want to wait to consider the issue until after the presidential election. For that reason, I will not be calling a special session to take up this issue.”
Conservative Republicans celebrated the announcement Wednesday afternoon while Democrats and state health groups lamented the news.
Of course they did. I'm guessing 50,000 South Dakota residents feel otherwise.
Technically speaking, it's possible that this could be addressed again next year, but as Joan McCarter notes, let's be realistic here:
Republican opposition within the legislature was extreme, stronger than Daugaard could overcome. Unless there's a sea change in South Dakota, it doesn't seem too likely that he'll be able to expand Medicare during the remainder of his two years in office, though he says he remains committed to making it happen. But now that he's caved over the special session, it doesn't seem likely.