Health care officials oppose cuts to Medicaid
By Jackelyn Severin
Officials in the health care industry say cuts to the Medicaid reimbursement rate is essentially a tax increase on South Dakotans. Secretary of Social Services, Kim Malsam-Rysdon, says reducing the reimbursement rate will save the state over 25 million dollars in general funds.
Dave Hewitt is with South Dakota Association of Health Care Organizations. He says the state may save money by reducing Medicaid but at the expense of South Dakota taxpayers.
Hewett says, “We will see providers raise rates in hospitals. We will see physicians probably avoid providing care to individuals so that those people end up in our emergency rooms. We will see in fact in nursing homes that the private pay residents will pay more to make up for the difference of what you have here.”
Hewett says there are other options besides cutting Medicaid a full ten percent. He says lawmakers should look into a temporary increase in the sales tax and using money from the health care trust fund to help balance the budget.
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