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Latest Poll Shows Continued Support for Medicaid Expansion in SD


Wednesday, September 14, 2022   

New poll results released today showed a majority of South Dakota voters support the expansion of Medicaid.

This fall, South Dakotans will be asked to vote on Amendment D, which would expand eligibility for the public health insurance program.

The American Cancer Society's Cancer Action Network is out with a new poll which found 62% of likely voters in South Dakota plan to vote "yes" on the ballot question.

David Benson, the network's senior state and local campaigns manager, said another key result was 82% of respondents feel the process should not be stalled if the measure passes.

"To ensure that the legislators that are up for reelection or for the first time, as they're hearing more about Medicaid expansion, that they have a clear message," Benson emphasized. "South Dakota voters want to see this fully implemented and move quickly."

In recent years, South Dakota government has fought implementing other policies despite their approval by voters. Meanwhile, organizers behind a Medicaid expansion coalition say the results are consistent with past polling in South Dakota on this issue, including one earlier this year from AARP.

Opponents, mainly Republican policymakers, cite cost concerns, but the federal government covers most of it through incentives under the Affordable Care Act.

Tony Burke, government relations director for the American Heart Association of South Dakota, said the polling indicates they have been able to break through some myths about expansion, which does not mean they will slow engagement efforts before Nov. 8.

"Although we're reassured that we're on the right track of what the voters want, we -- as American Heart and all of the coalition -- are on the ground daily," Burke explained. "Educating voters on what this will truly mean to our state and the benefits that will happen to our neighbors, and families and friends, that will need it."

He added it is important to remember expansion would help people who are working but still fall into the coverage gap. It is estimated approval and implementation of Amendment D would expand Medicaid eligibility for more than for 42,000 South Dakotans.

Disclosure: The American Heart Association of South Dakota contributes to our fund for reporting on Health Issues, Poverty Issues, Senior Issues, and Smoking Prevention. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

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