News

South Dakota Education Association Endorses Medicaid Expansion Ballot Measure; Joins South Dakota Decides Healthcare Coalition

4/28/2021

Pierre – The South Dakota Education Association (SDEA) is joining a diverse coalition of healthcare providers, farmers, businesses, and other civic organizations to expand healthcare options for South Dakota’s working families. The SDEA Board of Directors voted to support South Dakota Decides Healthcare to expand Medicaid coverage for over 40,000 people in the state. SDEA President Loren Paul says a successful campaign will mean healthier families for South Dakota’s students. 

“As educators, we know there is a link between how well students perform in the classroom and the overall health and well-being of the family. We believe expanding healthcare options for working parents will have a positive effect on their children’s ability to thrive in school,” said Paul. “Our kids need healthy families. It is really that simple. It makes a huge difference in their ability to learn.”

Medicaid expansion would return hundreds of millions of tax dollars to South Dakota from Washington for jobs and healthcare here – just like North Dakota, Nebraska, and Oklahoma have all done recently. It would help parents, farmers, and small business employees who have jobs that do not provide health insurance. A family of four earning less than $37,000 would qualify.

SDEA chose to join South Dakota Decide Healthcare because it believes the coalition has the best chance for success in November 2022 when the initiative is expected to appear on the ballot.

“Right now, many of the organizations that can mobilize people and resources in this state are coming together through South Dakota Decides Healthcare. We’re building the type of non-partisan and broad coalition that’s needed to expand access to healthcare for hardworking families in this state,” said Paul. “We look forward to engaging our 6,000 members in the effort to bring affordable healthcare to more working families in South Dakota.”