Most state residents favor Medicaid expansion, poll says

2014-01-16T07:00:00Z Most state residents favor Medicaid expansion, poll saysMeredith Colias Journal staff Rapid City Journal
January 16, 2014 7:00 am  • 

Despite a poll showing a majority of South Dakotans favor Medicaid expansion, Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s office said Wednesday he has no plans to introduce legislation to expand health care in the state.

In a survey released earlier this week by the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network, 63 percent of 400 state residents favored Medicaid expansion while 31 percent opposed it.

The others polled had no opinion. Republican pollster Glen Bolger conducted the poll for Alexandria, Va.-based research firm Public Opinion Strategies. The poll's margin of error is 4.9 percent.

Daugaard has been unwilling to accept the federal government's offer of millions of dollars to expand Medicaid in the state, saying he is unsure if the federal government would maintain its share of the funding in the long term.

As far as the poll results, the governor's communication director, Tony Venhuizen, said in an email Wednesday the issue is “too complex” to validate in a simple poll.

South Dakota is one of 23 states that have so far declined to expand Medicaid or develop alternative models to insure them under the Affordable Care Act.

In states that have accepted the money, the federal government pays 100 percent of the costs for the first three years and gradually shifts 10 percent of the cost to states by 2020.

If South Dakota eventually decides to accept Medicaid expansion, it could receive as much as $57 million in federal money in 2014.

Megan Myers, grassroots manager for the Cancer Action Network , an organization that acts as the American Cancer Association’s lobbying arm, said the state would greatly benefit if Daugaard and state lawmakers decided to accept the federal money.

An estimated 48,000 South Dakotans are currently uninsured. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, approximately 25,000 will fall between the cracks — too poor to qualify for subsidized insurance plans on the health care exchange but not poor enough for Medicaid without the expansion.

“We are very, very concerned about them because they don’t have any options at all,” Myers said.

She said the reality is that without coverage, many people will put off health screenings until it’s too late or when their medical conditions become more burdensome and costly to treat.

“We know people are getting health care, but they are getting it in expensive places” like emergency rooms, Meyers said. “For the investment the state would make, we would get so much more back.”

Contact Meredith Colias at 394-8417 or meredith.colias@rapidcityjournal.com.

Copyright 2015 Rapid City Journal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(16) Comments

  1. Shorty
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    Shorty - January 19, 2014 10:42 am
    It's hard to tell if these people are actually stating what they believe, or just repeating what they hear on Fox News, some of it is word for word. Lol
  2. Shorty
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    Shorty - January 19, 2014 10:37 am
    You better do a bit more research, a huge amount of money comes just to cover highway repair, do you drive or not Frank?
  3. Deklan
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    Deklan - January 16, 2014 12:29 pm
    I "hope" you're wrong, but the "change" is becoming more obvious.

    Cause and effect... What is to happen to the people employed in the insurance industry?

    Medical facilities and doctors are declining taking on any additional Medicare and Medicaid patients.

    Of course, a Democrat delegate candidate, Kathleen Murphy, advocates making it a legal requirement for doctors to accept Medicare and Medicaid recipients.

  4. Frank Smith
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    Frank Smith - January 16, 2014 11:36 am
    He doesn't want to accept dollars that eventually will disappear. Makes sense to me. Perhaps he doesn't also want to create an even larger class of government-dependent/addicted citizens. That makes sense as well.
  5. Frank Smith
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    Frank Smith - January 16, 2014 11:34 am
    By the time all is said and done, every single American will be on Medicaid or Medicare. This is by design.
  6. GL
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    GL - January 16, 2014 11:25 am
    Frank and Rhude on the wrong side of history and the people...again.
  7. Deklan
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    Deklan - January 16, 2014 10:40 am
    The Journal on 02/04/13: Under the proposed expansion, the federal government would cover costs — at a rate of about $200 million a year to South Dakota — for the first three years.

    After that, reimbursement from the federal government would drop each year to an eventual 90 percent of costs in 2020.

    The drop in federal funding could end up costing the state as much as $45 million a year if all 48,564 additional people take advantage of the expansion, said Deb Bowman, a senior adviser to Daugaard.

    Two years ago, “A Report of the State Budget Crisis Task Force” noted Medicaid programs were growing rapidly because of increasing enrollments, escalating health care costs and difficulty in implementing cost reduction proposals. At recent rates of growth, state Medicaid costs will outstrip states revenue growth by a wide margin, and the gap will continue to expand.

    In ‘12, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released their annual report on health care spending in America. It was projected that healthcare spending will rise 8.3%, due in large part to Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid and the new subsidies in purchasing health insurance in the exchanges.

    By 2020, they estimated that the Federal government will account for one-half of the health care expenditures in the nation.

    From the article, "We know people are getting health care, but they are getting it in expensive places” like emergency rooms, Meyers said. “For the investment the state would make, we would get so much more back.”

    She forgot to mention the community health centers which offer free care or payments based on a sliding-fee scale.
  8. barry freed
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    barry freed - January 16, 2014 10:16 am
    No Frank, Glen Bolger is one, if not THE top, Republican Pollsters. He worked for Romney and anti-Union corporations. So I agree with you, the number of South Dakotans backing Medicaid Expansion were probably under-reported and inaccurate. What say you, Mr. Bolger?
    But I must challenge your poor opinion of South Dakotans and say:
    We are a people who don't hesitate to pull over for someone with car troubles. We are a people who send donations to others who have suffered a tragedy. We are the people who shovel an elderly neighbor's walk. We are the true majority who are not racist or hating. I trust these people I live with, even though the Government and Media keep us in the dark with "secret" Government deals with businesses and news reporting that keeps monied advertisers happy, and facts omitted. Thus, we may get the wrong information from them, as with the laughable anti-medical marijuana Ballot "Con" position, saying men grow breasts after smoking pot, but our hearts are basically good and loving, our intentions amiable.
    I don't know who you or the others you claim to be "South Dakotans" are, but I don't buy your assumption you are any kind of majority for a 'millisecond". Further, a well intentioned Governor who is honestly undecided would place the issue on a Ballot. Let The People decide. He would encourage the Lawmakers to undertake their own Polls with their Constituents. Let all voices be heard. He would encourage the Media to report all sides of the issue so the people could make better decisions to govern themselves.
  9. Frank Smith
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    Frank Smith - January 16, 2014 9:30 am
    The vast majority of those federal dollars are for federally mandated medical and welfare programs for people who pay no federal income tax and and aren't working. Once again it's the middle class supporting the takers.
  10. Frank Smith
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    Frank Smith - January 16, 2014 9:29 am
    Agreed!
  11. Frank Smith
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    Frank Smith - January 16, 2014 9:28 am
    On other news, ObamaCare is a raving success and the majority of people are fully supportive of it. You believe that too, right?
  12. Rhudedog
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    Rhudedog - January 16, 2014 9:02 am
    Is journalism now dead? Liberals also claim that 99% of Americans favor national health care after taking a poll that asks: “Do you support Americans being nice to one another?" Polls are irrelevant if you lie to the people being polled! Same is happening with amnesty proponents that cite fraudulent polls as proof that a majority of Americans support them when the poll was worded "Do you support a path to legalization?”. Shame on those who call themselves journalists
  13. Frank Smith
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    Frank Smith - January 16, 2014 8:13 am
    Good grief. Not for one millisecond do I believe this poll is an accurate reflection of what the voting taxpayers of SD actually thinks. Did they purposely poll non-taxpayers, non-workers and democrats? Why yes, yes they did.
  14. barry freed
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    barry freed - January 16, 2014 8:00 am
    "Daugaard has been unwilling to accept the federal government's offer of millions of dollars to expand Medicaid in the state, saying he is unsure if the federal government would maintain its share of the funding in the long term."
    Two conflicting statements, one a personal judgement of Minimum Wage earners, another a plausible excuse that doesn't match his other Federal Assistance opinions. Which do you believe?
  15. morningstar
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    morningstar - January 16, 2014 7:42 am
    The Governor uses the excuse he is concerned about the federal deficit.

    South Dakota is one of those states that receives many more federal dollars than taxpayers put in. If the principle of the federal deficit is so important, why doesn't he also turn back those monies?

    Or does he just want to help certain people more than others?
  16. barry freed
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    barry freed - January 16, 2014 7:34 am
    "I want to stress that: these are able-bodied adults. They're not disabled; we already cover the disabled. They're not children; we already cover children. These are adults -- all of them," said Daugaard, Yankton, S.D.-based WNAX radio reported.

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