The Governor's inability and unwillingness to expand Medicaid in South Dakota will lead to the deaths of many South Dakotans according to a recent report released on Northern Plain News. The article reports,
A recent study published in the online journal Health Affairs says 38 to 95 South Dakotans are at risk of dying each year the state fails to expand the federal/state health coverage for the poor.
Further, the study estimates nearly 39,000 South Dakotans would be covered by an expansion.
The study also estimates that prior to the Affordable Car Act, 118,760 South Dakotans were uninsured but that number drops to 98,143 following implementation of the ACA.The Governor's decision to not expand Medicaid fails basic levels of moral reasoning. On a utilitarian level, the expansion would actually improve South Dakota's economy, improve access to healthcare for thousands, reduce the financial burden on counties, and save lives. On a deontological level, expansion saves lives, and that is a universal action that can and should always be followed. The Governor's arguments about cost were addressed, the Governor's compassion for the state's working poor have been found lacking, and now the Governor's decision has allowed him to play the role of Sarah Palin's death panels in regards to South Dakota's citizens.