What was I saying about controversial measures? “Medicaid Expansion” group starts Public Campaign, Announces Social Media effort.

What was I saying about controversial measures in the prior post? Here’s an interesting item that just found it’s way to my mailbox in the face of Medicaid Expansion’s opposition in the state from groups such as Americans for Prosperity and many Republicans:

From: Jennifer Stalley
Sent: Friday, January 29, 2016 1:59 PM
To: Jennifer Stalley
Subject: Medicaid Expansion – Make Your Voices Heard

medicaid expansion

Thank you for your support of the Governor’s proposal to expand Medicaid to 50,000 South Dakotans who need assistance with their healthcare.  The proposal accomplishes this in a way that is budget neutral for our State and makes sense for South Dakota.  We need your help to convince legislators to support us.

We continue to gain supporters – more than 50 diverse organizations representing health care, education, business, tribal and local government interests have signed on in support of the proposal.  Thank you for being one of those organizations and for standing up in support of this common sense proposal to providing health care access for some our poorest working families and improving the health care of our tribal citizens.

Now we need you and your organization to lend your voice and contact legislators to tell them you support of the proposal.  Please ask your board members and grassroots supporters to contact their legislators via e-mail or phone next week.  Let them know:

–          The plan to expand Medicaid will not increase South Dakota’s general fund budget;

–          Expansion of Medicaid means providing mental health services and substance abuse services to all Medicaid patients who need it;

–          60% of the expansion population is working – these are the working poor who need help with their health care coverage;

–          The expansion plan will save local governments millions of dollars in indigent care;

–          We have a unique opportunity to solve a long-standing reimbursement issue with Indian Health Services and help 50,000 South Dakotans with their health care coverage

A simple phone call or email from your members will help legislators see the depth and diversity of support for the Governor’s proposal and counter the out of state interests working to persuade them to oppose the plan.

Please ask your membership to send an e-mail their legislator to show support for the expansion proposal. They can send an e-mail to a legislator by clicking HERE.  Or, have them call their legislators, if they prefer.  They can call Senators at 605-773-3821  and Representatives at 605-773-3851.

If you have folks who can attend this weekend’s cracker barrels/legislative coffees this weekend, please encourage them to do so.  The meetings this weekend are in:

Brookings                      Brookings City & County Building               9:00 – 10:30
Huron                            Huron City Hall                                                9:00
Rapid City                     New Classroom – School of Mines             9:00 – 11:00
Spearfish                       BHSU Joy Room                                              9:00
Vermillion                    Vermillion City Hall                                         10:00 – 12:00

We are making a difference and our voices are getting stronger – please continue to help us move the Governor’s plan forward so we can improve health care in South Dakota.

Thank you!

P.S.  Watch for a message early next week about the launch of our social media efforts and website to help encourage even more people to contact legislators and show support for this plan!

And they have a logo, and everything. Not sure what form their social media campaign is going to take, but I’m sure this will be interesting to watch.

19 Replies to “What was I saying about controversial measures? “Medicaid Expansion” group starts Public Campaign, Announces Social Media effort.”

  1. Springer

    I just watched a SD Focus on Medicaid expansion in SD, and all four participants were in favor of this. I would appreciate if SDPB would present an unbiased information piece with both sides presented. I do not for a minute trust the fact that “it won’t cost SD anything” or that if the feds don’t live up to their end that “SD can drop the expansion.” A program like this would never be rescinded on the state level. And it of course will cost SD as the number of participants rises and the federal contribution declines or the INH thing doesn’t work out.

  2. Cliff Hadley

    Springer, I watched the same show and just about threw the clicker through the screen. My question to the Medicaid-expansion proponents would be this: Where’s the proof that Medicaid expansion has improved health outcomes in other states? There is no such proof. And savings? Nonexistent.

    This bait-and-switch is every bit as bad as when it was last tried two years ago. Then the push was to guilt lawmakers into OK’ing more Medicaid, because it would pay for more prenatal visits and save up to six babies lives a year. My take: If the docs from Sanford can make such accurate predictions, surely they could provide the names of babies from years past who died early on from lack of Medicaid funding for prenatal visits. They couldn’t, because such a cause-effect relationship doesn’t exist.

    1. Anonymous

      Where’s the proof that Medicaid expansion has NOT improved ‘health outcomes’ in other states? Any proof that savings is really ‘nonexistent’?

      1. Cliff Hadley

        It’s “the dog not barking.” If there was proof of the wonder of Medicaid — which is merely the worst federal program of them all — it’s fans would be trumpeting that data ’til kingdom come. Instead, the best we’re given is anecdotes, which is a lousy way to saddle taxpayers with another huge bill.

        As it is, Medicaid has expanded by — from memory on this — 279% in the past 20 years. There is nothing that shows anyone’s health has improved.

        Insurance is not coverage. And government insurance is even more so, as so few physicians and dentists participate because of the disgraceful reimbursements. Working for free just isn’t that appalling, not appealing. As such, it’s difficult for the poor to find doctors period, so they show up at emergency rooms as always.

        On last thing, check out the Oregon Medicaid study from 2008. The experts all assumed their Medicaid expansion that year would improve health outcomes, but were amazed to find the extra coverage did zip. Except increase hospital-first treatment.

        1. Anonymous

          Thank you for answering my question and confirming you have no proof. Conjecture at its worst. And a study from eight years ago? Really?

          1. Cliff Hadley

            Again, if the proof of Medicaid’s efficacy existed, we would have seen it by now.

            When public money is at stake, the burden of proof is on those who want to redistribute that money to others that the programs being funded work. There is zero proof that Medicaid works — not for doctors, not for hospitals, and most of all, not for intended recipients.

            Too bad you hide behind the anonymity of your keyboard.

            1. Anonymous

              Medicaid doesn’t work? Really? Do you know anyone who lives or has lived in a nursing home and can’t afford to pay the $7500.00+ bill each month? There’s a start for you. It works but you can’t prove it doesn’t work. So, instead you distract with the lame ‘hide behind your keyboard’ crap.

              You should hide behind anonymity. Because you’re not very bright.

  3. PorterLansing

    Hadley and Springer
    You wear your “negativity bias” like a saddle on a sow and I won’t try to speak to your state of “constant contrary” but here’s the facts about how Medicaid expansion has helped states free up money for other needs, for those young Republicans interested in progress. Does anything ever change for the better for you two “settlers” or are you still urinating in an outhouse?

  4. Charlie Hoffman

    Yeah same thing old song and dance Porter. The Liberals want to free up other people’s money by taxing it and giving it away to folks with no skin in the game and Conservatives want to free up money in the marketplace by encouraging economic independence, lowering taxes, and getting folks back on their own two feet. Problem is your party has increased welfare to the point of being a living wage above the average American living wage. And Medicaid is welfare. With the new low standards we have rolled into qualifying we now see over 50% of the babies born in SD born into Medicaid while over 30% of adults here are enrolled. Isn’t that high enough?

  5. PorterLansing

    Low income Americans have an equal amount of skin in the game as you do. The game is equality based on participation not equality based on how selfish you are and how well you can avoid paying your fair share.
    Problem is you self consumed Republicans have made America so uneven that welfare roles have grown. Pay up what you owe and see how well USA does under Democratic equality.

    1. Cliff Hadley

      Mr. Lansing…

      Medicaid used to be for truly indigent people. Now, thanks to Obamacare, its mission has been expanded to include a whole bunch of people who are not poor, as Charlie explains. Also, Medicaid was intended for episodic emergencies, not continuing care for chronic illness caused by the four big habits — smoking, booze, sitting on the couch, and too much eating. That mission, too, has changed. We’re supposed to now pay through the nose to save people from themselves. No way government can do that, ever. Progressive? Nah. “Idiocracy.” Before too long, I expect Obamacare’s motto to be, “Brawno! It’s got electrolytes!”

    2. Springer

      What in the heck is “equality based on participation?” Paying no income taxes while getting subsidized housing, subsidized child chair, Medicaid, food stamps, free cell phones, free diapers and baby formula, in addition to earned income tax credit – just how is that “equality based on participation?”

      Where is my equality based on participation when I’m the one paying the bill for all this? And believe me, I pay my fair share of taxes and more. You say I should pay up what I owe and see how well the USA does under Democrat equality? Maybe we who are footing the bills will decide to stop working, stop paying taxes, and live off the system too (in the interest of equality of course), and then we will see how well the USA does!

  6. PorterLansing

    You’re just making that stuff up. All eight of your sentences have no basis in fact. Show the proof.

    1. Cliff Hadley

      Mr. Lansing…

      The trends and studies that support what I wrote above are only a click away. For example, over 90 percent of all chronic illness is caused by the one or a combination of the four lifestyle habits. And if you don’t know how Medicaid eligibility has been loosened to a ridiculous degree, then God help you. Go educate yourself.

      Quick thought: Even though Medicaid demonstrably has zero effect on health outcomes, you would spend more public money on it to increase the rolls of people dependent on a program that doesn’t work. So tell us all why you hate the poor so much?

  7. Troy Jones


    You are exactly right. Any read of the Medicaid program’s history will support your entire post. And, with Obabacare, it took on its biggest single expansion. I’m surprised Porter would even contest it but didn’t embrace it as an badge of honor of the liberal progression in the last 50 years.

    1. Cliff Hadley

      Thanks, Troy. My dad started his medical practice the year Medicare and Medicaid started, in 1965, so I got an up-close look at the perverse incentives and unintended consequences of these fed programs.

      A memory: In the late 1980s, when my dad was 60, he decided he needed needed some cash to retire on. So he upped his rates, which were $6 for an office call and $12 for a house call. These were the lowest rates in Nebraska, by far. His new rates were $10 and $20. Medicare blocked him, insisting that it was too much of a percentage increase. Dad appealed, and got the state’s senators involved. He won when he showed that his new rates were still the lowest in the state, again by far.

      You can’t make this stuff up.

      1. Anonymous

        ‘You can’t make this stuff up.’

        Of course not. Because everything one reads on the internet is … true.


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