South Dakota puts Medicaid work requirement question on ballot

South Dakota voters will decide in the November election if the state can implement work requirements on its Medicaid expansion population, the Sioux Falls Argus Leader reported Feb. 27. 

The question comes after South Dakota voters approved Medicaid expansion in November 2022. The new issue before voters was spearheaded by state Rep. Tony Venhuizen and state Sen. Casey Crabtree, who said the ballot question is the first step in a process that would also require approval from the federal government, according to the report. 

"If it passes, that doesn't mean we'll come back here in January and implement it, it just means we have the option," Mr. Venhuizen said, according to the report. 

The issue is heading to the ballot after being approved by the state House and Senate. 

Those opposed to imposing work requirements have argued that such requirements would make it more difficult for low-income patients to access healthcare, and could negatively affect small businesses. 

"In order to keep an employee who’s already working for them employed, in order for them to have health insurance and not have to pay for their health insurance as a small employer, they now have to fill out something with the state that they don’t necessarily understand," Ben Hanson, the North and South Dakota government relations director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, previously told Becker's.

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