PIERRE | A task force appointed by Gov. Dennis Daugaard is starting a study of whether South Dakota should expand its Medicaid program to cover thousands of additional low-income people.

The Legislature this year accepted the governor's recommendation to delay a decision on expanding Medicaid.

Daugaard says the expansion of Medicaid is a complicated issue because of uncertainty surrounding the federal budget and the health overhaul law taking effect next year.

Under the federal health law, states have the option of expanding Medicaid as part of the effort to provide more people with insurance.

The task force holds its first meeting in Pierre on Tuesday and Wednesday. It will hear public testimony Tuesday evening.

The group will submit a report to the governor and the Legislature by Sept. 15.

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