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House Leadership Pulls Inadequate Noem Healthcare Bill →

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House Leadership Pulls Inadequate Noem Healthcare Bill

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The South Dakota Democratic Party released the following statement responding to today’s decision by House leadership to pull Rep. Kristi Noem’s inadequate healthcare bill from the floor moments before a scheduled vote:

“This is an embarrassing defeat for Kristi Noem and her friends in the political establishment. It raises serious questions about Rep. Noem’s leadership – if she can’t pass a priority bill like this that she helped write through the House with her party having a sizable majority, how can she meet the challenges she would face as governor?

“At the same time, this is a victory for the healthcare of South Dakota families who would have lost their health care or been forced to buy substandard insurance that didn’t even cover essential services like pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care, preventative and wellness services, and prescription drugs. We hope today’s defeat teaches Kristi Noem and her fellow Washington Republicans a lesson – instead of rushing a bill through Congress which throws tens of millions of our neighbors off of their healthcare to give tax breaks to the wealthy, they should work across the aisle to find real solutions to the challenges facing our healthcare system which help improve affordability and coverage for all South Dakotans.”

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House Delays Vote on Inadequate Noem Healthcare Bill →

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House Delays Vote on Inadequate Noem Healthcare Bill

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The South Dakota Democratic Party released the following statement responding to today’s decision by House leadership to delay a vote on Rep. Kristi Noem’s inadequate healthcare plan:

“Today’s decision is a victory for the health and well-being of the people of South Dakota. Kristi Noem’s healthcare bill would mean 25,000 South Dakotans could lose their health care and our state could lose $300 million in Medicaid funding.Further, in an attempt to cater to the most extreme elements of her party, the bill was made even worse, as Republicans moved to eliminate Essential Health Benefits from Americans’ coverage, which means that insurance companies will no longer be required to cover the following services:

  • Pediatric services, including oral and vision care
  • Mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment (this includes counseling and psychotherapy)
  • Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management
  • Pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care (both before and after birth)
  • Ambulatory patient services (outpatient care you get without being admitted to a hospital)
  • Emergency services
  • Hospitalization (like surgery and overnight stays)
  • Prescription drugs
  • Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices (services and devices to help people with injuries, disabilities, or chronic conditions gain or recover mental and physical skills)
  • Laboratory services

“After this and other changes to the bill made to satisfy Republican extremists, the CBO found the bill became far more expensive while still costing 24 million Americans their healthcare. Fortunately, despite Kristi Noem’s support of this inadequate bill, it does not currently have the votes to pass. We call on Rep. Noem to work across the aisle to find real solutions to the challenges facing our healthcare system which help improve affordability and coverage for all South Dakotans.”

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Noem to Finally Hold Town Hall →

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Noem to Finally Hold Town Hall

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The South Dakota Democratic Party released the following statement responding to today’s announcement that Rep. Kristi Noem will finally hold a town hall in South Dakota:

“The people of South Dakota want to be heard by their elected officials. After months of pressure from people of all political parties across South Dakota, Kristi Noem has finally relented and will hold an in-person town hall tomorrow in Watertown. We encourage any person who is able to attend and ask her to answer for her inadequate healthcare plan and her support for the extreme and out-of-touch agenda of Republicans in Congress. We hope Rep. Noem will move beyond stale talking points, and give real answers to why she supports a healthcare plan which will have the following negative impacts on South Dakota:

  • 25,000 South Dakotans could lose their health care.
  • South Dakota could lose $300 million in Medicaid funding.
  • 447,800 South Dakotans could lose coverage of preventive services like cancer screenings and flu shots.
  • 448,500 South Dakotans could lose consumer protections like the prohibition on annual and lifetime limits, protection against unfair policy rescissions, and coverage of preexisting health conditions in their employer-sponsored health insurance.
  • 15,100 South Dakotans could lose cost-sharing reductions to lower out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles, co-pays, and coinsurance, making healthcare coverage unaffordable.

“Put simply, Rep. Noem owes it to the people of South Dakota to explain why she is so proud of a healthcare plan which means tens of millions of people without insurance, and an increase in the cost of care for everyday South Dakotans – especially the elderly, all while giving tax breaks to the wealthy and insurance company CEOs. We call on Senators Rounds and Thune, and announced candidates for Congress, like Dusty Johnson and Shantel Krebs, to hold town halls of their own to answer for their support of this plan.”

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Trump Budget a Disaster for South Dakota →

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Trump Budget a Disaster for South Dakota

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The South Dakota Democratic Party released the following statement in response to today’s release of President Donald Trump’s budget plan, which includes massive cuts to programs for agriculture and rural communities:

“Donald Trump’s budget plan would devastate hardworking families in South Dakota and around the country. It slashes important programs these families depend on, such as afterschool programs and college financial aid, while gutting important investments in infrastructure and American industry.

“South Dakota would be especially hurt by the drastic reduction in the discretionary budget of the the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Trump’s budget plan calls for a$4.7 billion cut in that budget, which amounts to about a 21% reduction from last year’s budget. Some of the important programs the budget would eliminate include:

  • the Water and Wastewater loan and grant program, which helps with rural water and waste infrastructure
  • aspects of the Rural Business-Cooperative Service, which supports business development and job opportunities
  • the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education Program, named after former Senators George McGovern and Bob Dole, which distributes food aid to children living in poverty abroad

“This budget would be a disaster for South Dakota’s family farmers, producers, and ranchers, and shows just how little Donald Trump cares for rural communities and those whose livelihood depends on the ag industry. Representative Noem and Senators Rounds and Thune will have to decide who they stand with: Donald Trump or hardworking South Dakota families.”

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Letter to the Editor from Our Communications Director

Many Unanswered Questions in Noem’s Healthcare Bill

South Dakota Democratic Party Communications Director Aaron Matson sent the following letter to the editors of the daily newspapers of South Dakota last week:

After waiting for six years to introduce a healthcare plan, Kristi Noem and her Republican colleagues on the Ways and Means Committee voted to rush their inadequate plan through committee at 3:30 a.m. CST this week, less than two days after the plan was made public – with almost no public input. With many important details unknown, Noem and Washington Republicans owe us honest answers to the following questions about this plan and what it would mean for South Dakotans before the process moves any further:

  • How much will this plan cost?
  • How many South Dakotans will lose their healthcare?
  • How many South Dakotans will go bankrupt from medical bills?
  • How will South Dakotans with healthcare through their employers be impacted?
  • How much will premiums and out-of-pocket expenses go up for South Dakota families?
  • How much more will South Dakota seniors pay for their health care?

Rushing a bill through committee in the dead of night to hide from public scrutiny is not leadership. Neither is dodging constituents by refusing to hold public events in our state. Rep. Noem’s profound lack of leadership should not be rewarded with the keys to the governor’s mansion.

Aaron Matson

Communications Director, South Dakota Democratic Party

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Letter to the Editor from Our Chair

No Business Representing South Dakota

South Dakota Democratic Party Chair Ann Tornberg sent the following letter to the editors of the daily newspapers of South Dakota last week:

Ann color headshotMembers of South Dakota’s congressional delegation have historically made great efforts to stay connected to the people of South Dakota through town halls or community meetings. Senators Tom Daschle and Tim Johnson, for example, were back in South Dakota as often as possible and held town hall meetings all over the state to hear the concerns of voters. Sometimes the questions were friendly, sometimes not, but they felt holding these meetings was an important part of their duties as our elected representatives.

That’s why it is so disappointing that Representative Noem and Senators Rounds and Thune did not schedule any public town halls during February’s congressional recess and seem to have no plans to do so in the future. Our congressional delegation has a responsibility as our representatives to meet with their constituents, answer our questions, and give reasons for their votes and actions in Washington. There’s such a great interest in attending town halls that citizen groups scheduled town halls themselves and invited our delegation to show up; unfortunately, none did. If Kristi Noem, Mike Rounds, and John Thune are afraid of tough questions, they have no business representing the people of South Dakota in Congress.

Ann Tornberg

Chair, South Dakota Democratic Party

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Democrats React to the State Settlement with SDRC, Inc. Related to the EB-5 Scandal →

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Democrats React to the State Settlement with SDRC, Inc. Related to the EB-5 Scandal

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The South Dakota Democratic Party released the following statement responding to settlement reached today between the state of South Dakota and SDRC, Inc.:

Like the lenient plea deal reached between Attorney General Marty Jackley and Joop Bollen, today’s settlement means the public will now get less information about the EB-5 scandal because no trial will take place to expose the facts of the corruption. Once again, the Republican establishment in Pierre is sweeping corruption under the rug.”

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Democrats React to CBO Score of Noem Healthcare Plan Showing 24 Million Would Lose Insurance →

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Democrats React to CBO Score of Noem Healthcare Plan Showing 24 Million Would Lose Insurance

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The South Dakota Democratic Party released the following statement responding to today’s release of the Congressional Budget Office score of Rep. Kristi Noem’s healthcare plan, which estimates 24 million Americans would lose their health insurance:

“This analysis by the CBO, the gold-standard source for nonpartisan analysis, makes even clearer what was obvious all along: the healthcare plan brought forth by Kristi Noem and her fellow House Republicans would mean tens of millions of people without insurance, and an increase in the cost of care for everyday South Dakotans – especially the elderly, all while giving tax breaks to the wealthy and insurance company CEOs. This plan will hurt the health and wellness of South Dakota families, and Kristi Noem and every Republican elected official and candidate for Congress, like Dusty Johnson and Shantel Krebs, need to answer for their support of it.”

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Democrats Respond to Noem’s Ways and Means Committee Voting to Make Healthcare Unaffordable →

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Democrats Respond to Noem’s Ways and Means Committee Voting to Make Healthcare Unaffordable for Thousands of South Dakotans

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The South Dakota Democratic Party released the following statement responding to Rep. Kristi Noem and other Republicans on the Ways and Means Committeetaking the first step in passing their plan to increase costs and reduce the coverage of health insurance for thousands of South Dakotans, while giving tax breaks to the insurance company CEOs and other wealthy people:

“After waiting for six years to introduce an alternative healthcare plan to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Kristi Noem and her Republican colleagues on the Ways and Means Committee voted to rush their half-baked plan through committee at 3:30 a.m. CST, less than two days after the plan was made public – and with almost no public input. With no CBO score, and many important details unknown, Kristi Noem and Washington Republicans owe the people of South Dakota honest answers to the following questions about this plan and what it would mean for South Dakotans before the process moves any further:

  • How much will this plan cost taxpayers?
  • How many South Dakotans will lose their healthcare?
  • How many South Dakotans will go bankrupt from medical bills?
  • How will South Dakotans with healthcare through their employers be impacted?
  • How much will premiums and out-of-pocket expenses go up for South Dakota families?
  • How much more will South Dakota seniors pay for their health care?

“Rep. Noem’s rushing a bill through committee in the dead of night to hide from public scrutiny is not leadership. Neither is dodging constituents by refusing to hold public events in our state. Her profound lack of leadership should not be rewarded with the keys to the governor’s mansion.”

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Democrats Call on Noem to Answer Questions about Her Healthcare Plan →

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Democrats Call on Noem to Answer Questions about Her Healthcare Plan

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The South Dakota Democratic Party released the following statement calling on Rep. Kristi Noem to provide answers to the many unanswered questions about the healthcare plan she and her fellow Washington Republicans finally unveiled this week:

“After running on repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in each of her congressional campaigns, joining her fellow Washington Republicans in voting over 60 times in the last six years to repeal all or part of the ACA, and leaving the House Committee on Agriculture to join the Ways and Means Committee, the main committee behind the House Republican healthcare plan, Kristi Noem owes the people of South Dakota honest answers to the following questions about this plan and what it would mean for South Dakotans:

  • How much will this plan cost taxpayers?
  • How many South Dakotans will lose their healthcare?
  • How many South Dakotans will go bankrupt from medical bills?
  • How will South Dakotans with healthcare through their employers be impacted?
  • How much will premiums and out-of-pocket expenses go up for South Dakota families?
  • How much more will South Dakota seniors pay for their health care?

“Though there are many details we still don’t know about this plan, what we do know is bad. While it gives healthcare CEOs and other wealthy people more tax breaks, it will increase costs and reduce care for working families and seniors. That’s why the AARP, AHA, and AMA have all come out publicly against the plan. Kristi Noem needs to immediately provide answers to the serious concerns raised about her plan and why in the last six years she has not worked with Democrats to come up with a real healthcare plan that fixes the shortcomings of the ACA instead of this half-baked scheme.”

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