The issue of Medicaid expansion in South Dakota is officially tabled until 2017. Governor Dennis Daugaard made the announcement on Wednesday.

For a few years, South Dakota has felt that Federal support for Native American health care as inadequate. New guidelines were introduced in February that would require IHS to pay their share and Daugaard says the State would use the savings to allow more people to be covered by Medicaid.

“Not only do you need the ability to offer eligibility, but those eligible have to have access or eligibility does them no good. The expansion plan that my staff and the Federal Government have worked out would provide both eligibility and access at no cost to the state.”

Daugaard wants approval from State Legislators before moving forward and waiting would increase the chance of passing.

“I’m confident the numbers work. Now it’s a matter of getting a majority in the Senate and the House to agree. At this point, there’s a number of legislators who want to wait to consider this issue until after the Presidential election. For that reason I’m not calling a special session and we’ll see how things shape up after the election.”

It is projected that about 50,000 more people would be covered in the state if the plan were to be accepted by the Legislature.

The total cost of the plan would be approximately $67 million.

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