The gubernatorial Campaign is afoot, with Jack Billion issuing part of "his plan", and the Governor Responding

From the Rapid City Journal:

Finding ways to provide health insurance for the uninsured in South Dakota will be one of four issues that Jack Billion will highlight in his campaign against Republican Gov. Mike Rounds.

Billion, the Democratic nominee for governor, will soon begin releasing position statements on health care, education, economic development and agriculture and its related energy development. No issue will be more important than health care and finding ways to expand medical coverage among the almost 90,000 uninsured South Dakotans, the retired orthopedic surgeon from Sioux Falls said Tuesday.

"Certainly, health care is going to be one of the major issues of the campaign," Billion said. "One of the single most important things we need to do in this state is provide some kind of coverage for the 90,000 who are uninsured, 17,000 of whom are children."

Billion said 31,000 of the uninsured are below the federal poverty level. South Dakota could assure coverage for a portion of those people by expanding eligibility criteria for Medicaid but that would require matching money from the state.

Rounds said he is not against Billion's general idea, but he emphasized that governing requires making choices.

"You only collect limited dollars. The question is, do you want to put that into education or put that into insuring people," Rounds said. "Those are questions we struggle with every single year during the legislative session. I think everybody would like to see more people insured, but you have to be prepared to talk about whether you want to subsidize that with taxpayer money."
Read it all here.


george said…
did rounds really make the decision to fund education over healthcare as he said in his response to billion? wasn't the real decision he made between healthcare or education or something with real importance and flying around in his plane?
scimitar said…
We all subsidize the uninsured. Our medical costs are higher because of those who can't pay for care - mostly the working poor who don't qualify for government programs. For those who qualify, either counties or medicaid pick up the bill - again, taxpayers pay.

Medical bills are one of the biggest reasons that people declare bankruptcy.

Further, the lack of access to affordable, basic preventative medicine causes people to delay care for many minor things that become expensive major health problems down the road.

If government were to assist low income and uninsurable people to have access to annual physicals and dental checkups, the program would probably pay for itself by reducing catastrophic medical costs, increasing productivity in the workforce, and lengthening people's lives.

I can name at least one person - and probably others if I think about it - who delayed going to a doctor because of cost, and found out he had cancer too late. This person - who we would consider the "working poor" is no longer with us, but would still be a contributing member of society if he had only had basic healthcare.
feasant said…
Socialize medicine, I want my care free!!!! The doctors make too much anyway.

If you want free healthcare go to Canada and live.. You will find out there are long waits before you get any care and your taxes are about 75%.
scimitar said…
feasant, where'd you get your figure of 75% tax rate for Canada? Did you make that up, or what?

Medicine is far cheaper in Canada, but the Republican Congress prohibits us from buying our medicine there. So much for free trade. Your GOP is protecting price-gouging drug companies at the expense of all of us.

Why in the world did the GOP Congress, in the new medicare prescription drug law, prohibit the federal government from negotiating prices with the drug companies?

The special intersts are running our government under the GOP, costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of $$ unnecessarily for the prescription drug benefit, and artificially inflating the cost of prescription drugs for all of us who purchase our own.

Where's the outrage feasant? Your own party is causing people to be priced out of the market.
scimitar said…
By the way, the prohibition in the medicare prescription drug program prohibiting government from negotiating drug prices is absolutely indefensible as far as I can tell.

I'd like to hear from anyone who thinks they can defend the anti-negotiation provision.
feasant said…
Have you ever been to Canada,A? GST & PST, extra tax on alcohol, extra tax on snack foods, huge tax on tobacco and they pay about a 50% income tax. A bag of chips in Wadena, SK is $5.

Head on up, Quebec is waiting for you.

Tax and spend, it will make working class people poor.
scimitar said…
So you did make up the phony tax rate, feasant. Just pulled it out of your #$% did you?

Try buying your booze and bag of chips in Barrow, Alaska. The further things need to be shipped at today's fuel prices the more they cost.

But I don't see you explaining why we shouldn't be able to buy meds in Canada or why the feds shouldn't be able to negotiate prices on anything. It's the GOP making working class people poor by running up their costs on everything from medicine to gasoline.

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