• I believe in expanding Medicaid eligibility so that everyone who can not get insurance through the marketplace, who needs to go to a doctor, hospital, or clinic, can go.  There is no reason South Dakota should leave behind millions of dollars the Federal Government is giving us in incentives to expand medicaid. 
  • Out of 855,400 SD residents, 31% are low income (below 200% of the Poverty Line) and only 15% are covered by Medicaid/CHIP.  There is a 16% gap which means that 15,000 low income adults are not covered statewide. (100% of FPL is $12,140 for an individual) [1].  Children, Pregnant women, Parents with children, and Seniors/Disabled are the only people eligible to receive medicaid.  
  • I propose raising the FPL% for pregnant women to 209%.  This means that instead of pregnant women who only make below $16,643 being eligible for medicaid, pregnant women who make less than $25,205 will be eligible. [2]
  • I propose raising the FPL% for Parent/Caregiver/Relatives of Low Income Children from 52% to 138% so that more families and parents can apply for Medicaid should they need it. [2]
  • I propose raising the FPL% for Aged, Blind and Disabled Singles and Couple to from 74% and 83% respectively to 100%.    
  • Currently Seniors make up about 20% of Medicaid recipients in SD, but make up 60% of the cost.  To reduce costs to balance the expansion of eligible South Dakotans, we can cap costs for Home and Community Based Services (HCBS).  [2]

    1) According to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation: Click here
    2) South Dakota Department of Social Services (DSS) Medicaid Overview Report: South Dakota Medicaid Report

  • I believe we should require universities to provide health insurance options to graduate students.   
  • I believe in expanding health insurance choices.  This will require getting more health insurance companies into the South Dakota marketplace by providing incentives.  Currently, Avera and Sanford are the only two major insurance companies providing insurance in the healthcare marketplace.  That isn't enough competition to give us the best coverage or prices. 

    Mental Health
  • I believe we desperately need more mental health facilities in West River  Currently, people seeking mental treatment who go to the ER and who do not have an acute medical emergency,  are housed in jail if the current facilities are full which they often are.  This disregard for the mentally ill is shockingly cruel and must stop.

    Drug addiction
  • Lastly, we need more funding to tackle methamphetamine/drug addiction in our district by offering treatment services.  Drug addiction is soaring and we are not equipped to handle this public health crisis. This is a skyrocketing problem that nobody wants to talk about, but must be addressed for the safety of our district.