Monday, February 17, 2020

Graying of South Dakota nearing crisis levels

Rick Holm is the Prairie Doc. His program airs on KBRK radio in Brookings, on Bill Janklow's idea of public teevee and his column appears in my hometown paper the Elkton Record, in the Brookings Register and about sixty other rural South Dakota newspapers.
Mr. A belongs to the working-poor segment of our society, just above official levels of poverty and yet he cannot afford health insurance and primary care, let alone the private cost of an assisted living center or nursing home. If Medicaid was expanded in South Dakota, more than two billion dollars of federal health care funding would come into the state, helping healthcare coverage to 55,000 South Dakotans, in turn, helping to prevent rural nursing homes from closing. This would help Mr. A, and people like him, get comfort care during their dying days. [column, Dr. Rick Holm]
By not expanding Medicaid under Obamacare South Dakota Republicans are decimating rural health care. Representative Ryan Cwach is a District 18 Democrat from Yankton.
Let’s be frank and honest about our nursing home insurance system in South Dakota. A person seeking to insure against the cost of long term care has two options: (1) get private long-term care insurance; or (2) be rich — like, really rich. If option 1 and 2 above are not available to you, your only other option is to “spend down” your resources in order to qualify for Medicaid. “Spend down” means selling your house, draining your retirement accounts, or cashing in the CDs. Medicaid resource guidelines only allow a person to have approximately $2,000 to their name in order to qualify for coverage. HB 1141 is necessary to move our state to a fairer long-term care system that recognizes that long-term care should not be free, but it also should not bankrupt a person either. [Study Needed Into Long-Term Care]
The South Dakota Republican Party is a death panel. South Dakota's medical industry triopoly operates without scrutiny but at least one Sanford Health executive believes it's time to expand Medicaid in the state.

Little wonder young people and Democrats are fleeing South Dakota.

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