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SDDP Statement on the Republican Tax Plan →

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SDDP Statement on the Republican Tax Plan

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The South Dakota Democratic Party released the following statement from Executive Director Sam Parkinson in response to the tax plan released today by Republicans in the U.S. House:

“Today House Republicans released a tax bill that provides massive tax cuts for the wealthy and big corporations while simultaneously cutting the health care, education, and mortgage deductions middle-class South Dakota families rely on – as well as blowing a big hole in the deficit. We urge Rep. Kristi Noem and Senators Thune and Rounds to vote against this awful plan, and work with Democrats to develop a tax plan that works for everyone, not just the wealthy and large corporations.”

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SDDP Statement on the Beginning of the ACA Open Enrollment Period →

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SDDP Statement on the Beginning of the ACA Open Enrollment Period

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Today marks the beginning of this year’s Affordable Care Act open enrollment period, which runs from November 1 to December 15. The South Dakota Democratic Party released the following statement from Executive Director Sam Parkinson encouraging people to sign up for healthcare coverage through HealthCare.gov:

“Today is the first day of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) open enrollment period. Due to countless Republican attempts to sabotage the healthcare system, spread misinformation, and make the process of signing up for affordable health care more difficult – such as cutting the enrollment period in half, slashing funding used for advertising and outreach programs, and abandoning state partnerships that help people enroll in healthcare coverage – it is important that every South Dakotan knows how to enroll and has the opportunity to get covered. Any South Dakotan who wants to get covered should visitHealthCare.gov between now and December 15th to see what coverage is available and to sign up for coverage.

“Contrary to Republican claims, many people who have enrolled for coverageGAC_open_facebook through HealthCare.gov have been surprised by how much they save; eight out of ten people who have enrolled in coverage through HealthCare.gov qualified for financial help to make their monthly premiums more affordable. In fact, most people can find a health insurance plan from $50 to $100 per month.

“Despite the Republican misinformation and sabotage campaigns, the ACA continues to provide coverage for millions of Americans. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office expects 11 million people to enroll in ACA exchanges next year. On top of that, the law is more popular than ever. A record 54% of voters have a favorable opinion of the ACA and 62% want to see the law maintained.

“With the start of open enrollment today, Americans can sign up for healthcare and show Republicans that they need to end their sabotage and misinformation campaigns and work with Democrats to build on the progress of the ACA and make timely and affordable healthcare a reality for every American.”

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Republican Budget Cuts Hurt South Dakota Families →

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Republican Budget Cuts Hurt South Dakota Families

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The South Dakota Democratic Party released the following statement from Executive Director Sam Parkinson in response to House Republicans narrowly passing a budget bill this morning:

“This Republican budget – voted for last week by Senators Mike Rounds and John Thune, and voted for today by Rep. Kristi Noem – takes money out of the pockets of hardworking South Dakota families and gives it to the top 1 percent. It will make drastic cuts to vital programs like Medicare and Medicaid to give huge tax cuts to wealthy corporations and millionaire and billionaires. Even worse, these tax cuts aren’t paid for. The Republican budget will increase the budget deficit by at least $1.5 trillion, which will in turn be used by Republicans as an excuse to make even deeper cuts into programs that help South Dakota families.

“But while Republicans continue to fight to give more and more to the wealthy and special interests, Democrats will continue fighting to give all working families the economic security and opportunity they deserve.”

Here is a closer look at how the Republican budget will hurt South Dakota families:

MEDICARE:

  • The Republican budget calls for nearly $500 billion in cuts to Medicare.
  • In South Dakota, 156,127 people who rely on Medicare are at risk.
  • Medicare beneficiaries make up 18 percent of South Dakota’s total population, including:
    • Seniors: 87 percent of Medicare beneficiaries in South Dakota are seniors.
    • People with disabilities: 13 percent of Medicare beneficiaries in South Dakota have a disability.
    • Women: 58 percent of Medicare beneficiaries in South Dakota are women.
    • Rural communities: Nearly one in four Medicare beneficiaries nationwide live in rural areas.

MEDICAID:

  • The Republican budget calls for more than $1 trillion in cuts to Medicaid – an even deeper cut than Republicans proposed in their health care repeal bills.
  • In South Dakota 109,100 people who rely on Medicaid are at risk.
  • Medicaid beneficiaries make up 14 percent of South Dakota’s total population, including:
    • Adults: 1 in 12 nonelderly adults in South Dakota.
    • Children: 1 in 3 children in South Dakota.
    • Seniors: 1 in 2 nursing home residents in South Dakota.
    • People with disabilities: 2 in 5 people with disabilities in South Dakota.
    • Women: 65 percent of nonelderly Medicaid beneficiaries in South Dakota are women.
    • Rural communities: Medicaid covers one in four nonelderly rural residents nationwide.
    • Veterans: 4,000 veterans in South Dakota rely on Medicaid services.

NUTRITION & INCOME SECURITY PROGRAMS:

  • The Republican budget calls for deep cuts to programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, and Social Security.
  • SNAP helps 96,000 South Dakota families and workers stay out of poverty and keep healthy food on the table.
    • Almost 75 percent of SNAP participants in South Dakota are in families with children.
    • More than 48 percent of SNAP participants in South Dakota are in working families.
    • Almost 27 percent of SNAP participants in South Dakota are in families with members who are seniors or have a disability.
  • In 2016, SNAP benefits added $145 million to South Dakota’s economy, because families spend their SNAP benefits at local grocery stores and other retailers.
  • 21,041 South Dakotans rely on Social Security Disability Insurance, which workers pay into so they can support their families if they develop a severe disability.

TAX CUTS FOR WEALTHY:

  • By passing their budget, Republicans have cleared the first hurdle in moving forward to a vote on a tax bill that has been written in secret and few have seen. If the Republican tax plan were to pass:
  • The richest one percent of South Dakota residents would receive 62 percent of the state’s total tax cuts in 2018. These households are projected to earn at least $589,600 next year and would see an average tax cut of $129,120 in 2018.
  • In stark contrast, middle-class South Dakotans would only receive 5 percent of the state’s total tax cuts. These households would only get an average tax cut of $500 in 2018.
  • Millionaires alone would get 54 percent of the state’s total tax cuts. Their average tax cut would be 532 times the tax cut middle class families would get.
  • 7 percent of South Dakota households would face a tax hike if the GOP tax plan was in effect in 2018.

OTHER CUTS:

  • CUTS TO EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Nationwide, the Republican budget cuts close to $200 billion from services like Pell Grants and student loan assistance over the next decade.

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SDDP Statement on the Republican Lack of Action on CHIP Funding →

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SDDP Statement on the Republican Lack of Action on CHIP Funding

The South Dakota Democratic Party released the following statement today from Executive Director Sam Parkinson in response to the continued lack of action from Rep. Kristi Noem, Senators Mike Rounds and John Thune, and other congressional Republicans to restore funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) after failing to reauthorize the program before last month’s deadline to do so:

“Kristi Noem, Mike Rounds, John Thune, and their fellow congressional Republicans have been so busy trying to take healthcare away from millions of Americans, sabotaging our cmissing personsountry’s healthcare system, and fighting over how big of tax cuts to give millionaires and billionaires that they continue to fail to perform the basic functions of governing our great country. I call on South Dakota’s congressional delegation to finally show some leadership and convince their fellow Republicans to work with Democrats to restore CHIP funding immediately. The healthcare of over 16,000 children and women in South Dakota is at stake, and their healthcare should be more important to our representatives than tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires.”

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Trump’s Refusal to Make CSR Payments Hurts South Dakotans →

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Trump’s Refusal to Make CSR Payments Hurts South Dakotans 

Last night Donald Trump decided to no longer fund the Affordable Care Act’s cost-sharing reduction payments (CSRs), which will cause millions of Americans to face premiums that skyrocket by as much as 20 percent, create widespread uncertainty and chaos in America’s health care marketplace, and increase the deficit.

Trump and congressional Republicans bear the sole responsibility for the devastation they have inflicted on South Dakotans, 16,144 of whom rely on these CSR payments for quality and affordable health care.

“Republicans have tried time and again to strip away the Affordable Care Act, but South Dakotans and Americans all across the country made their voices heard loud and clear: they want Republicans to keep their hands off their healthcare. Last night healthcare is a rightDonald Trump turned his back on South Dakotans by ending the cost-sharing reduction subsidies that help make quality healthcare affordable for 16,144 South Dakotans,” said South Dakota Democratic Party Executive Director Sam Parkinson. “Make no mistake – Trump and his administration are gambling with the lives of millions of people and ushering in disarray in our healthcare system. It’s time for Rep. Kristi Noem and Senators John Thune and Mike Rounds to stand up to Trump’s recklessness and start working with Democrats to expand and protect healthcare around the country.”

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Press Release- SD Democrats Advocate for Medicaid Expansion Following Governor’s Budget Address

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Immediate Release: Tuesday, December 8, 2015

South Dakota Democrat Leaders Advocate for Medicaid Expansion in South Dakota Following the Governor’s Budget Address

Pierre, SD (December 8, 2015)-

On Tuesday, Governor Dennis Daugaard corrected course and announced his support of a plan to expand Medicaid in South Dakota under the Affordable Care Act at his annual budget address.

South Dakota Democrats have been advocating for Medicaid Expansion since the option of increasing health care coverage was made available through the Affordable Care Act. South Dakota Democrat legislators have introduced legislation to expand Medicaid during each of the past three legislative sessions, all of which have been killed by the State’s Republican majority Legislature.

Executive Director of the South Dakota Democratic Party, Suzanne Jones Pranger, said

“South Dakota should have expanded Medicaid sooner, as Democrats proposed, because the federal government would have paid 100% of the cost of expansion of coverage until 2016. Instead, the state gave up a chance to recoup millions in federal tax dollars while providing coverage to as many as 55,000 South Dakotans with no cost to the state. South Dakota Democrats have been determined to make Medicaid expansion happen for South Dakota families, and that fight continues.”

Democratic Party leaders in the State Legislature are hopeful that this legislative session will provide a breakthrough in the fight to expand Medicaid. Democratic Party leaders say they are committed to working with those on the other side of the aisle to expand health care coverage in South Dakota.

“Democrats have continually advocated for Medicaid expansion for over three years now because we know that Medicaid expansion is an investment. Expanding this affordable healthcare option will provide thousands of South Dakotans a better opportunity to improve their health and live happy, productive lives,” said Senate Minority Leader Billie Sutton. “The best type of investment our State can make is in its own citizens, and that is exactly what Medicaid expansion will accomplish. Democrats look forward to working with the Governor, Republican members of the Legislature, Tribes, and the federal government to develop a framework that best invests in South Dakota’s economic and healthcare future.”

Medicaid expansion may also provide an opportunity to expand IHS services and heath care access to Native American South Dakotans. House Minority Leader Spencer Hawley said,

“The Affordable Care Act and Democrats’ continual efforts to come to an agreement on Medicaid Expansion have brought all the parties to the table and have given us the opportunity to help ensure that the federal government adequately provides South Dakota’s Native peoples’ their treaty right to health care. We look forward to working with our colleagues to make Medicaid expansion a reality for the people of South Dakota.”    

Over 30 states have expanded Medicaid, which includes our neighbor states of North Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa. Medicaid expansion will save lives, stimulate the economy, and increase the State’s revenues.

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GOP Medicaid expansion blockade means missed opportunities for SD

Sioux Falls (July 2, 2014) — South Dakota is missing out on huge opportunities as a result of the Governor Dennis Daugaard’s medicaid expansion blockade, according to a new report published by the White House’s Council of Economic Advisors.
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South Dakota Democratic party Executive Director Zach Crago says that the report underscores the importance of Medicaid Expansion in South Dakota.

“The numbers don’t lie – Medicaid expansion makes dollars and sense for South Dakota,” says Crago. “Medicaid Expansion injects hundreds of millions of dollars into our economy to insure 26,000 people who fall in the Daugaard coverage gap. That investment creates jobs and offers a lifeline to hardworking South Dakotans without health insurance. South Dakota cannot wait any longer for Governor Dennis Daugaard and GOP state legislators to expand Medicaid.”

The missed opportunities South Dakota faces because Governor Dennis Daugaard and GOP state legislators refuse to expand Medicaid include:

Missed Opportunities: PREVENTATIVE CARE:

  • 26,000 South Dakotans will be left uninsured because they work too much to qualify for regular Medicaid but earn too little to qualify for subsidies on the healthcare exchange.
  • 3,800 South Dakotans will be get cholesterol level screenings.
  • 1,500 South Dakotans will not receive needed pap smears.
  • 900 South Dakotans will not get potentially life saving mammograms

Missed Opportunities: ACCESS TO CARE & HEALTH OUTCOMES

  • 6,000 South Dakotans will not have access to a usual source of clinical care.
  • 3,000 South Dakotans will not get all their needed care in a 12 month period.
  • 70,800 needed physicians visits will not occur.
  • 2,000 South Dakotans who suffer from depression will not see relief.
  • 3,000 South Dakotans will not report good health.

Missed Opportunities: FINANCIAL HARDSHIP

  • 10,500 South Dakotans will suffer catastrophic out of pocket healthcare costs.
  • 3,700 South Dakotans will have to borrow money or skip paying payments to pay a medical bill.

Missed Opportunities: FEDERAL SPENDING

  • $420 million in federal investments to South Dakota between 2014 and 2016 will be forgone.
  • 1900 jobs will not be created.

READ THE FULL REPORT HERE.

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ICYMI: Medicaid expansion is saving lives in North Dakota

Zach Crago, Executive Director SDDP: “Common sense prevailed in North Dakota when Republicans and Democrats came together to provide thousands of people with health insurance – but South Dakotans are still waiting for life saving coverage. Zach-Crago-SDDP

“In North Dakota, Medicaid expansion is providing care, identifying treatable illnesses, and saving lives that might have been lost without this coverage. North Dakota didn’t play politics, and they didn’t make excuses. It’s long past time for Governor Dennis Daugaard and our legislature to put South Dakotans first and expand Medicaid today.”

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Associated Press
North Dakota Medicaid expansion leads some residents to seek long-delayed health care

By James MacPherson
May 14, 2014

BISMARCK, North Dakota — The company providing coverage for North Dakota’s Medicaid expansion told state lawmakers Wednesday that many residents who haven’t seen a doctor in years are doing so now.

Lisa Carlson, director of Planning and Regulation for Sanford Health, told the Health Care Reform Review Committee that some residents hadn’t been seeking treatment for cancer and other diseases because of the lack of money.

More than 7,880 people have been enrolled in the expanded state’s Medicaid program since January. Officials estimate more than 12,000 people — mostly adults without children — are still eligible under the Medicaid expansion, a component of the federal Affordable Care Act championed by President Barack Obama. Under the new law, residents whose income is up to 138 percent of the poverty level qualify for Medicaid, the health program for the poor.

“There is a consistent theme with the population of delaying testing, not filling medications or making follow up appointments due to no coverage,” Carlson said. She told lawmakers of several incidents where previously uninsured North Dakotans are getting medications for diabetes or are now being treated for testicular, rectal, lung and esophageal cancers that might not have been detected without the broadened coverage.

“Nurses are finding great fulfillment with many ‘bless yous’ and notes of thanks from individuals who were not getting care due to their lack of financial resources,” Carlson told the panel.

North Dakota’s Republican-led Legislature reluctantly voted last year to expand Medicaid to cover more uninsured residents of the state. GOP lawmakers in both chambers testified that they don’t like the new federal law championed by Obama, but believed the state’s residents would have to shoulder more costs without it.
Carlson said in an interview that “absolutely” lives are being saved due to the expansion of Medicaid.

Mike Schwab, executive vice president of the North Dakota Pharmacists Association, said his group supported legislation last year to expand Medicaid to cover more uninsured residents of the state. But Schwab told lawmakers the association is regretting it now. He said more than 30 pharmacies in the state have expressed frustrations with the new law, including reimbursements that don’t “cover the cost of doing business.”

“If we had known it would be administered in an unfair and unreasonable manner to many of our provider members we would have adamantly opposed Medicaid expansion,” Schwab said.

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Mitchell Daily Republic – OPINION: Don’t turn your back on working poor

Medicaid expansion found a strong ally this week from John T. Porter, CEO of Avera Health. His challenge in the Mitchell Daily Republic is powerful and worth the read in full:

“I challenge each of us to be a voice for those who need our support and ask for a plan to help our neighbors receive the health coverage and routine care they need. As a democracy, we have pledged to help those in need with social programs when we can best provide support. Expanding Medicaid is a prime way we can help the working poor in our communities live healthier lives.”

John T. Porter, CEO Avera Health

Ultimately, Republicans in Pierre aren’t going to budge on Medicaid expansion unless they feel enough public pressure to move on the issue. One way you can make a difference is by writing a letter to the editor calling on Governor Daugaard and the state legislature to expand Medicaid.

Will you be a voice for those who need our support?

Make Your Voice Heard! Write a Letter to the Editor

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Noem’s #CostOfRepeal: 9,000 young South Dakotans lose coverage

Yet another damaging consequence of Congresswoman Kristi Noem’s push to repeal the Affordable Care Act is that 9,000 South Dakota young adults on their parents’ health insurance plans would now be at risk of losing their coverage. Noem and her Republican Congress’ obsession with repeal would leave more than 3 million young adults at the mercy of insurance companies, who would be free once again to do whatever they want to hike rates or kick young adults off their parents’ plans altogether. Continue Reading »

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