|Putting It Off?|
Though that fight isn't over and will eventually be won by those who use objective science (there are plenty of other studies supporting WebMd's optimism, some more, some less, but all seem positive) as the basis for introducing new medications into the state, Conzet did bring up a point that's worth pursuing. Claiming that the bill was "not for South Dakotans" because "we're different cats . . . we have to wait and watch the rest of the country . . . we sit back and pause and we make decisions . . ." Conzet celebrates our collective reluctance to lead and takes pride in being a follower. Not much to brag about there, but using that as a basis for making decisions important to the state, I suggest we embrace that principle and apply it to the coming decision about expanding Medicaid.
On that basis we're foolish not to use Conzet's cat-like approach and check results in states
Applying Conzet's wait-and-see principle, let's take a look at Colorado's results since Medicaid was expanded there in 2014. The results are in and they're good. A study that was conducted by the Colorado Futures Center at Colorado State University found, among other gains: because of Medicaid expansion a full percentage point has been added to the state's GDP, household incomes have increased by more than 600 bucks/yr, and that the state's general fund will incur no increased expenses associated with Medicaid expansion. The authors of the CSU study conclude that
|Tell 'em, Gov.|
It Just Makes Sense
(photo from ksfy.com)
These results are just too compelling to ignore, so much so that we South Dakotans are looking kind of foolish in being so late to come to the Medicaid expansion table. There's no question that Daugaard has looked around and seen the healthcare and economic benefits that come with expansion. Now if only Conzet and her fellow cats would accept reality that expansion is a good deal, I imagine we'll all come out purring.
Addendum (added 3/14/16 @ 1245): In the comments section below, 3500Mom posted the url for a site that notes New Mexico is having budgetary problems with Medicaid expansion. Here's the Albuquerque Journal piece from 3/5/16 that the site draws its information from. I'm adding a piece by a New Mexican last November who contends that expansion there has been a good deal. You can read that here.