South Dakota Medicaid expansion to wait

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South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R) said Monday that he will not seek Medicaid expansion under ObamaCare during the current state legislative session. 


South Dakota is considered to be perhaps the most likely next state to accept the expansion, with Daugaard pushing for it for months, but his announcement Monday indicates that expansion is not right around the corner. 

The governor said there is not enough time for the state legislature to take up the proposal, with two weeks remaining in the session, according to the Argus Leader. The governor said a special session could be called to consider the proposal, or it could be taken up in 2017. 

The state has been in talks with the Obama administration. On Friday came the important step of a letter from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) agreeing to start picking up 100 percent of the cost of certain care for American Indians. The savings to the state from the federal government picking up the extra cost can now be used towards Medicaid expansion. 

The Obama administration has been urging the remaining 19 states that have not accepted the expansion to do so. The expansion broadens eligibility for Medicaid up to 138 percent of the poverty level, about $33,000 for a family of four. 

There had also been hopes in Alabama, but Gov. Robert Bentley (R) recently cast doubt on the move. 

In other states like Wyoming and Utah, Republican governors have favored expansion, but have not been able to get their legislatures to go along. 

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