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Policy: Entitlements

South Dakota Medicaid expansion would cover working poor

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Associated Press,Medicare and Medicaid,Entitlements,South Dakota,Poverty

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota officials say people who work at low-income jobs would make up a lot of the population that would be covered by an expansion of the state's Medicaid program.

Under President Barack Obama's health care law, states have the option of expanding Medicaid, which uses state and federal money to pay health care costs for low-income people. Gov. Dennis Daugaard has said he likely will recommend that the South Dakota Legislature delay a decision on expanding Medicaid until more information is gathered.

South Dakota's Medicaid program covers about 116,000 children, adults and disabled people. An expansion would cover an estimated 48,500 additional people, mostly adults without children.

Officials told lawmakers that many of those 48,500 who would be covered now work at jobs that do not provide health insurance.

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