Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin just wrote Governor Scott Walker a letter giving him what-for over his resistance to expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Senator Tim Johnson should crib this letter and send a version to our Governor Dennis Daugaard:
I am disapppointed that your decisions regarding implementation of the ACA are being driven by politics instead of progress for our state. In November 2012, you chose not to establish a state-run insurance marketplace which would have provided Wisconsin families and businesses more choices for quality coverage. Now, by turning dow the ACA's Medicaid expansion in your state budget, you have passed up another opportunity to improve health coverage and bring new jobs to our state [Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), letter to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, 2013.02.21].
Let's skip all the wistful humanitarian arguments and go straight to the only language our Governor understands: government-enhanced job creation!
...At a time when Wisconsin needs leadership growing our economy, strengthening and growing our middle class, and creating broad based prosperity for our state, you chose to turn away a job-creating federal investment in Wisconsin. The ACA provides that states expanding their Medicaid populations receive a 100 percent reimbursement for covering new individuals for three years. Thereafter, the federal government is required to maintain at least a 90 percent match. Seizing this opportunity would have resulted in $1.1 billion in federal investments by 2016, $1.3 billion in economic activity, and over 10,500 new jobs, according to a report issued by Families USA [Baldwin, 2013.02.21].
For some quick envelope math, the Kaiser Family Foundation's November 2012 report on ACA-Medicaid-expansion costs figures that Wisconsin would get about six times as much federal money under the program than South Dakota. So that means our Medicaid expansion job bump would only be 1,800. Only 1,800. Perspective: Governor Daugaard is willing to spend $5 million to get 200 jobs with extra cheese. We should be willing to spend at least nine times that much to get nine times as many jobs plus better health care for thousands of South Dakotans.
Tim, send that letter! And Dennis, let's create some jobs!