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Tue Jul 7, 2020, 01:05 AM

Medicaid expansion just came sweeping down the plain in deep-red Oklahoma. Wise up to this good deal

Medicaid expansion just came sweeping down the plain in deep-red Oklahoma. Wise up to this good deal, South Dakota.


Oklahomans (as seen above in an image from oklahoman.com) yesterday, by a narrow margin, voted to expand Medicaid into their state. It means 200,000 Sooners who were in the coverage gap - they make too much for conventional Medicaid but not enough to afford health insurance - will now be covered by the program that was brought to life by the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.

Yes, Oklahoma, which is about as reliably Republican (Trump won there with 65% of the vote in 2016) as a state can be, just went ahead and took advantage of a program that South Dakota has been snubbing for years.

What do they know in Oklahoma that we don't here in South Dakota?

Just this. Expanded Medicaid coverage is a good thing for rural states with small hospitals that are having trouble with financing their operations. From Sioux Falls, Sanford Health's top doc, Allison Suttle, put it bluntly last Fall when she wrote a piece titled "Rural America faces a healthcare access crisis."

In her article, Suttle noted that "rural hospitals in the states that have refused to participate [in Medicaid expansion]—hospitals already operating their public healthcare systems with the slimmest of margins and resources—are now collapsing and closing at a quickening rate."

Read more: https://www.sdstandardnow.com/home/medicaid-expansion-just-came-sweeping-down-the-plain-in-deep-red-oklahoma-wise-up-south-dakota-expansion-is-a-good-deal

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