New poll shows South Dakota voters lean toward expanding Medicaid
RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - As the November midterm elections approach, voters are focused on a wide variety of candidates and issues.
However, as one recent poll shows voters could also be looking to expand healthcare access in South Dakota. A state-wide poll conducted in late August confirmed what officials from the American Cancer Society say they’ve known for a while.
“South Dakotans want to see Medicaid expanded and the majority of voters, 62%, plan to support Amendment D in November,” stated David Benson, Senior State and Local Campaigns Manager for the American Cancer Society.
Amendment D would amend the South Dakota state constitution and provide Medicaid benefits to people ages 18-65 with an income at or below 133% of the federal poverty level.
This would expand access to health care for thousands of South Dakotans.
“Those that may not afford health insurance on their own or they’re not provided health insurance through their provider. So, that is going to help those that are caught in the middle. They either make too much to qualify for Medicaid, traditional Medicaid, and they don’t make enough to get those subsidies to go on the marketplace,” explained Benson.
Benson added there are also financial incentives for states that haven’t expanded their Medicaid yet.
“To keep the tax dollars from going to Washington, to help for healthcare access in states like New York and California. We want to keep those tax dollars here in South Dakota to invest in our healthcare and local economy and Amendment D would do just that,” said Benson.
So why is the American Cancer Society advocating for the expansion of Medicaid?
According to Benson, thousands of South Dakotans are diagnosed with cancer every year, “and having access to healthcare and routine screenings can make the difference between a stage 1 diagnosis or a stage 4 cancer diagnosis. So, what we know from studies, the American Cancer Society has a study that shows newly diagnosed cancer patients have a better survival rate if they live in a state that has expanded Medicaid,” explained Benson.
South Dakota voters have the opportunity to vote on Amendment D this November.
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