News Release

South Dakotans Voted for Access to Medicaid


Last week, for the seventh time in recent months, Medicaid won at the ballot box. South Dakotans voted to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, making more than 45,000 people eligible for free health coverage. Voters have opted to expand Medicaid at the ballot box each of the seven times that states have put Medicaid on the ballot. 

    Nichanian is the founder and editor-in-chief of Bolts magazine, which covers the nuts and bolts of power and political change.

Nichanian said on Twitter: “I think this gigantic result has been drowned out: South Dakotans voting (56% to 44%!) to expand Medicaid will make tens of thousands of people newly eligible for the public insurance.” Nichanian referenced the other Republican-led states that expanded Medicaid via referendum this past year: Nebraska, Utah, Idaho, Missouri, and Oklahoma. 

He added: The measure in South Dakota “won by double-digits.” Nichanian had reported earlier this year that Republicans “tried to sink [the] measure by rushing [through] a ballot measure in June,” which would have required a supermajority vote for approval. “Voters killed that in June,” Nichanian said, “then passed this now.”

Jamila Michener, an associate professor of government and public policy at Cornell University, said last week: “Two of [the] biggest things that happened [in the election] are about #Medicaid.” South Dakota voted to expand the program, making it “another red state that can no longer deny the will/preferences of its residents, who overwhelmingly want expanded access to healthcare.”