Amendment D supporters host rally in Sioux Falls

Published: Sep. 24, 2022 at 5:43 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -Those that were at the rally believe it is time that South Dakota joined the thirty-eight other states that offer Medicaid. However, opponents of Amendment D believe it is too soon to make the jump.

Dave Kapaska is a retired physician and former CEO of Avera Mckennan. He says he has seen first-hand how expanding health care can help those in need.

“These are lower income working people, so they’re good friends and neighbors that contribute here, we need to keep them healthy so they can be in the workforce and make their contribution to our state,” said Dave Kapaska, retired physician.

Kapaska adds, the amendment would utilize tax dollars South Dakotans are already paying.

“Our federal tax dollars go to Washington and are providing Medicaid expansion for thirty-nine states already. But those South Dakota tax dollars don’t help the forty-thousand people in our state,” said Kapaska.

“States that don’t offer it are missing out on being able to help their citizens it’s basically a matter of whether you want to help struggling families or citizens or whether you don’t,” said Bernie Schmidt, chairperson at Falls Community Health Clinic.

Some state lawmakers don’t see it the same way though. Senator John Wiik has voiced his concerns over passing Amendment D.

“First of all, healthcare should not be in the constitution, if this is something that the voters believe in, a regular initiated measure would have been a fine way to do it,” said Sen. John Wiik.

He also argues that existing health care coverage is already sufficient for those in South Dakota.

“There are healthcare coverage options available for everybody in South Dakota, right now, through the Obama care exchanges, very affordable private health insurance plans,” said Wiik.

Additionally, Wiiks believes now is too soon for this to be on the ballot.

“Let’s take a pause, let’s use the options that are   available to us now and have better healthcare coverage that works for the people of South Dakota today,” said Wiik.

Ultimately, the final choice is up to the people. Voters will head to the polls on November 8th. Early voting is already taking place.