Public opinion polling released this week by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) shows that registered voters in South Dakota want their state to accept federal funds that are available to broaden access to health coverage through Medicaid.
By a 32-point margin, South Dakota voters support the decision, a move that would as allow coverage for as many as 48,000 low-income South Dakotans.
The statewide poll, conducted by national political and public affairs research firm Public Opinion Strategies, was fielded in November 2013. South Dakota lawmakers currently face the decision of whether to make health coverage under Medicaid available to individuals and families up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level, as urged by federal health care reform.
The poll was answered by 400 registered voters in South Dakota and has a margin of error of +/- 4.9 percent.
"South Dakota has an opportunity to provide up to 48,000 currently uninsured South Dakotans with lifesaving health coverage through Medicaid, and public sentiment in our state is decidedly in favor of using available federal dollars to pay for it," said ACS CAN State Lead Ambassador Cheri Leahy of Spearfish. "If our state makes that choice, families across South Dakota will have the security of knowing they have access to proven cancer screenings and treatments they otherwise could not afford."
Respondents polled were informed that federal funds are available to pay 100 percent of the costs to cover more uninsured people through Medicaid beginning in 2014, with the federal share gradually decreasing to 90 percent.