WASHINGTON — In response to the approval of a ballot measure in South Dakota that would expand Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act, Health Care for America Now Executive Director Margarida Jorge released the following statement:
“For over a decade, more than 40,000 South Dakotans in the Medicaid coverage gap have gone without the coverage they need because of political stalling on implementing Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. South Dakota lawmakers have long known that the majority of their constituents want to join most other states in closing the Medicaid coverage gap and making access to affordable healthcare available to low wage workers and people who currently have no coverage. But instead of working to make healthcare more affordable for the people they represent or simply getting out of the way, they have fought tooth-and-nail to obstruct Medicaid expansion at every turn.
“When voters are allowed to take decisions about health care into their own hands, they choose to act in their own interest, rather than the interests of insurance companies. Now the state legislature needs to do its job, follow the will of the people and help ensure Medicaid expansion is implemented smoothly and swiftly instead of wasting more time grinding a political ax.
“In the end, getting access to basic health coverage shouldn’t depend on what state you live in. Congress still has time to take federal action to extend access to coverage for everyone in the Medicaid coverage gap, ensuring that everyone can have the opportunity to access quality, affordable care no matter where they live or who they voted for.”