Medicaid expansion dominates Rapid City chamber luncheon with go - KOTA Territory News

Medicaid expansion dominates Rapid City chamber luncheon with governor

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The annual Governor's Luncheon hosted by the Rapid City Chamber of Commerce, gave lawmakers, business owners and community members to come together to discuss the biggest issues in South Dakota.

Lawmakers and community leaders in the Rapid City area come together every year to discuss the governor's budget proposal and the upcoming legislative session. 

One topic that was up for discussion was Medicaid expansion. While some agree with the governor that there is too much uncertainty surrounding expansion, others think it is just necessary.

"In my judgment we clearly have to expand medicaid, now the governor isn't there yet but maybe by next session things will change and we will see the light because its foolish that we're not taking the federal money, it could give us a great boost in our entire economy,"said former legislator and business owner Tom Katus.

Jessica Olson of Well Spring Family Based Services is concerned about the financial sustainability of an expansion program.

"I think today was a very helpful because it gave us more insight into the timeline for South Dakota. As a medicaid provider we look at the expansion as an opportunity to better serve more people, the concerns becomes financial sustainability for the state," said Olson. 

An expansion would add 48,000 people to South Dakota's Medicaid program.

Other topics that were discussed was education, economic expansion, tribal relations and agriculture.

 

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