But It'll Resurface.
Daugaard himself had even come up with a plan to bring it into South Dakota, an effort he abandoned after he apparently was convinced that a Trump administration could easily overturn ACA. Trump's vision has of course been exposed as a hallucination, but Governor Daugaard is dutifully following up on his responsibilities and political affiliations by giving Republican leadership the attention and lip service it merits. His Chief of Staff and son-in-law Tony Venhuizen was quick to address the Medicaid expansion funding issue a few days ago, when he told the Mitchell Daily Republic that one of the main reasons Daugaard supports the latest GOP plan is that it brings "funding parity" between expansion and non-expansion states.
This is actually a back-door way of acknowledging what has been obvious for years: states like South Dakota, stubborn as they've been in their resistance to Medicaid expansion, have really been getting the short-end of the stick when it comes to federal healthcare spending. But by going along with this concept of federal block granting, South Dakota effectively gains what it has been giving up by disdaining expansion. Block grant money would amount to a yearly gain of nearly $1 thousand per resident (almost a billion dollars) to South Dakota according to a New York Times analysis. That would more than make up for the money we've been leaving on the table up to now.And, as a business-type who sees the value of money pouring into the state, regardless of whether the source is named Obamacare or Trumpcare, I love the idea. The only caveat now is the matter of trust that began this missive. We've seen what's happened to federally-supported and sanctioned programs in this state during the past decade or so, and it hasn't been pretty. EB-5 and Gear-Up have set pretty poor examples of our current leadership's ability to manage Washington-sanctioned programs. Before the Daugaard administration gets totally wound up in its enthusiasm for this block grant or the next one that’s likely to be proposed, some assurances that another fiasco won’t materialize are in order.