Competing Medicare Expansion Initiative Efforts Merge


     Two competing South Dakota initiative campaigns trying to put measures expanding access to Medicaid on the November ballot say they’re dropping one of them and working together on the other. 

      The South Dakotans Decide Healthcare petition is a constitutional amendment while Dakotans for Health would expand Medicaid eligibility statutorily, but both require the state to make Medicaid available to people who make less than 133% of the federal poverty level, about $18,000 a year for an individual.

      Constitutional Amendment D, the measure from South Dakotans Decide Healthcare, has been backed by the state’s health care industry and now Dakotans for Health is joining that coalition.

     Dakotans for Health co-founder Rick Weiland says his group decided after conversations with members of South Dakotans Decide Healthcare that the best path forward to accomplishing the goal of expanding Medicaid eligibility is to join efforts.

     The Kaiser Family Foundation says South Dakota is one of just 12 states that has not accepted federal incentives to expand Medicaid eligibility