AFL-CIO backs grassroots organizers seeking to expand Medicaid
Updated: Apr 1, 2021
South Dakota Federation of Labor AFL-CIO Joins Fight to Expand Medicaid
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
South Dakota Federation of Labor AFL-CIO President Kooper Caraway issued the following statement:
"The South Dakota Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO a century old organization made up of over 80 trade unions, labor unions, and workers organisations is proud to join with Dakotans for Health in the fight for healthcare access for all working class people.
Every day that medicaid is not expanded in our state, tens of thousands of working class men, women, and their children live in the precarious position of being without dependable health insurance. The South Dakota Labor Movement today affirms the age old slogan of the international labor movement, “An Injury to One is an Injury to All”
The South Dakota Federation of Labor believes that Solidarity is not just an aspirational goal. We believe Solidarity is a verb, a muscle that must be exercised. And we are dedicated to using every tool the Labor Movement has at our disposal to ensure all working class South Dakotans and their families have access to good and affordable healthcare.
Organized labor has coalesced behind the grassroots groups citing its' deep commitment to South Dakota's working families. As Kory Rawstern of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) put it:
Other leaders echoed Rawstern and Caraway's sentiment including Mark Rogers who is the President of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) as well as the Eastern South Dakota Building Trades:
SD AFL-CIO Vice President and United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 304A leader BJ Motley lauded Caraway's sentiment citing the critical importance of health insurance in the era of Covid-19:
Dakotans for Health is circulating an initiated constitutional amendment to expand Medicaid that would provide Medicaid health insurance to South Dakotans who make less than $17,000 a year. The groups is seeking to collect 65,000 signature to qualify their measure.
“We are honored to have the support of the AFL-CIO. Working class people deserve access to quality healthcare and affordable prescription drugs. Let's roll.” Dakotans for Health Co-Founder, Rick Weiland said.
The non-partisan South Dakota Legislative Research Council has estimated that 42,500 people would be eligible for Medicaid health insurance if the ballot measure is successful. South Dakota is one of 12 states that has refused to participate in the program.
About Dakotans for Health
Dakotans for Health, an emerging group of public officials, caregivers, health care advocates, and concerned citizens supporting the expansion of Medicaid. We have released COMPREHENSIVE MATERIALS for our volunteers to start circulating a petition for a Constitutional Amendment to expand Medicaid. Get yours today!
Urgent! Help us refer HJR 5003. A plot by the South Dakota legislature to kill Medicaid expansion!
Dakotans for Health submitted a HJR 5003 referral petition to the state on March 11th which was rejected by the Secretary of State and is challenging that decision in the South Dakota Supreme Court. You can learn more about this and get involved HERE.
Help Secure Ballot Access for Medicaid Expansion
Obama Campaign Manager Steve Hildebrand on the importance of Grassroots Organizing and Dakotans for Health's campaign to expand Medicaid:
You can watch the full episode with Steve HERE
Message from Montana Governor Steve Bullock to Dakotans for Health petition circulators:
You can watch the full episode with Governor Bullock HERE
One neighbor. Helping another. That's something Tom Daschle understands.
You can watch the full episode with Senator Daschle HERE
Get involved. Volunteer, start circulating a petition, and donate! Text "Medicaid" to (772) 577-2336
Circulate a Medicaid Expansion Petition (How to)
Want to circulate a petition? We have been on the streets since November of last year! You can find everything you need HERE.
HHS Deputy Secretary Mary Wakefield supports Dakotans for Health and you can too!
You can watch the full episode with Secretary Wakefield HERE
Earl Pomeroy knows a thing or two because he's seen a thing or two.
You can watch the full episode with Congressman Pomeroy HERE
KELO: League of Women Voters Medicaid Expansion Petition Signing Event With Dakotans For Health
You can view the full KELO story HERE
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES and BACKGROUND:
South Dakota is one of twelve states who has yet to expand Medicaid under the ACA
North Dakota expanded Medicaid in 2015. The program has brought hundreds of millions of additional dollars into the state:
Montana expanded Medicaid in 2015 as well. The program brings an additional $600 Million a year to the state:
Visual Learner Summary: according to the fiscal note released by the South Dakota Legislative Research Council last July, South Dakota, upon the expansion of Medicaid, will $15 back for every $1 it puts in. A 15:1 Return On Investment.