PIERRE, S.D. (AP) -- Some lawmakers and health care groups plan to ask the South Dakota Legislature to expand the state's Medicaid program over Governor Dennis Daugaard's objections. The Medicaid expansion is available to states as an option under the federal health care overhaul.
Daugaard is not recommending an expansion of Medicaid at least for now because he has doubts the federal government can meet its pledge to pay most of the cost of the expansion. But supporters say an expansion is needed to improve health care for poor people who now don't get medical care until they are seriously ill. An expansion would add 48,000 people to South Dakota's Medicaid program. House Democratic Leader Bernie Hunhoff of Yankton says the state faces a moral imperative to expand Medicaid.