SIOUX FALLS, S.D., September 15, 2022 – South Dakota’s Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is joining the campaign to expand Medicaid in the state with their support of Constitutional Amendment D.
The South Dakota Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, founded in 2021, works in unity to establish and strengthen the representation of all Hispanic businesses. As a member of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber actively promotes economic and educational growth to empower all Hispanic businesses and entrepreneurs in the state of South Dakota.
“With more than 30,000 Hispanic people registered in Sioux Falls alone, the Spanish community has an incredible entrepreneurial and financial presence in our community,” said Jose Toribio Arreola, vice president of the SD Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “Students, hospitality workers, small business owners, and seasonal workers are among the individuals most hurt by our state refusing to expand Medicaid, and these are exactly the people that our organization works hard to represent.”
According to the American Heart Association, Medicaid expansion would address a significant health equity gap that faces specific hard-working populations in South Dakota, including people who are Hispanic, Black, Native American and who live in rural areas. Research has shown that these individuals do not have equitable access to quality, affordable health care. In states that have expanded Medicaid, expansion has helped narrow long-standing disparities in health coverage and access to care for all people, and preliminary evidence suggests it also improves their health outcomes.
“Right now, too many people in our state work at jobs that don’t offer health insurance,” said Arreola. “Many of these individuals work in industries that are experiencing the highest rates of unemployment, including retail workers and hospitality workers. Without health insurance these individuals are forced to choose between life-saving health care and putting food on the table.”
Voters will have the opportunity to support Medicaid expansion on the ballot this November with a “yes” vote on Constitutional Amendment D. Amendment D will require the State of South Dakota to provide Medicaid benefits to any person over 18 and under 65 who earns less than $18,000 a year or a family of four earning less than $37,000 per year. Federal funding would pay for 90 percent of the expansion costs, with the state being responsible for the remaining 10 percent. According to the South Dakota Legislative Research Council, expanding Medicaid means South Dakota will save more than $63 million in general funds in the first two years alone, as a result of additional program funding through ARPA. Medicaid expansion would return more than $1.3 billion tax dollars to South Dakota from Washington in the first five years.
Amendment D is supported by South Dakotans Decide Healthcare, a broad, non-partisan coalition of organizations dedicated to ensuring all South Dakotans have access to affordable, quality health care coverage. The American Heart Association is a member of the coalition and supports Medicaid expansion for South Dakotans.
For more information, visit https://southdakotansdecide.org/.
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.
About South Dakotans Decide Healthcare
South Dakotans Decide Healthcare is a broad non-partisan coalition of organizations dedicated to ensuring all South Dakotans have access to affordable, quality health care coverage. We represent organizations from health systems, including Avera, Monument, and Sanford, to advocacy organizations, including AARP-SD, American Cancer Society, Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, and the Community HealthCare Association of the Dakotas, South Dakota Education Association, South Dakota Farmers Union, and many other organizations.
For Media Inquiries:
Chrissy Meyer, 605-360-2542, Chrissy.Meyer@Heart.org