Americans for Prosperity continues to campaign against Medicaid

PIERRE, SD – If passed by voters, Amendment D would expand Medicaid coverage to working-age people in South Dakota who are at or below 133% of the federal poverty level.

And while there has been minimal effort to oppose Amendment D, the libertarian think tank Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is now trying to reverse the movement’s momentum.

But even for AFP South Dakota State Director Keith Moore, passage of Medicaid expansion in South Dakota is close to inevitable.

In the 37 states where Medicaid expansion has been on the ballot, it has never been defeated.

“As people were able to see the results and the arguments against Medicaid expansion, the races got tighter,” says Moore. “So the takeaway for me is that Medicaid is going to be welcomed for children in need, for people with disabilities, for the elderly and the needy. And if it passes, it will take them out.”

Despite the vigorous campaign conducted by supporters of Medicaid expansion, Moore points to recent results as evidence to believe these efforts may fail.

In deep red Oklahoma, the Medicaid expansion passed by less than one percentage point. That’s what prompted Moore and the AFP appeal to the voters late in the game to reject this measure.

“We as voters need to be reminded that the federal tax dollars that are being spent on Medicaid expansion are still our tax dollars,” Moore said. “It’s not like those dollars are coming from anywhere else, they’re our tax dollars being used to fund Medicaid expansion.”

Still, the effort to defeat the initiative in South Dakota faces its own unique challenges.

A number of organizations including those representing first responders; and groups on health such as the American Cancer Society, endorsed Amendment D. In addition, the state’s three major health systems; Avera, Monument and Sanford also supported the effort and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to make it happen.

Still, AFP hopes South Dakota voters will reject it.

“I think it’s a tragedy,” says Moore. “We are being sold something that is good for the economy… We are being sold that this idea is good for the economy, for creating jobs and so on. It might create jobs for certain organizations, but it won’t be good for our economy when the state has to pay so much for Medicaid expansion. “

In addition to recent AFP activity, South Dakota state senators Ryan Maher (R-Isabel) and John Wick (R-Big Stone City) Created a Statewide Commission on Ballot Questions entitled “UPDATE ON AMENDMENT D.” earlier this month. Financial disclosures have not yet been submitted to this committee.

Voters will have the final say on November 8.

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