Updated: Apr 26
Rapid City, South Dakota
The Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Association (GPTCA), made up of 16 Federally recognized Native Nations from South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, and Nebraska has endorsed Dakotans for Health and its efforts to fight voter suppression and expand Medicaid. Announced Dakotans for Health Tribal Spokesman Remi Beautiful Bald Eagle and GPTCA Executive Director Gay Kingman.
Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Association Chairmen Harold Frazier described a "movement" heralding the group as a "true friend" of Indian Country:
What you need to know
Dakotans for Health has been leading the effort to expand Medicaid to 42,000 South Dakotans and tribal members. They are also leading the effort to refer the recent voter suppression act, HJR 5003. The measure was passed in March by the South Dakota State Legislature. It targets the citizen initiated constitutional amendment petition to expand Medicaid buy requiring a supermajority vote of 60% to pass.
How you can help
Right now the top priority is recruiting petition circulators and raising funds to fight HJR 5003 and qualify Medicaid expansion. You can sign up to circulate a petition HERE. You can make a 2X MATCHED donation HERE.
What they are saying
The group has received widespread praise from tribal leaders and member alike including Rosebud Sioux Nation President, Rodney Bordeaux who extolled grassroots group's 'reliability' and deep commitment to Indian Country:
Other leaders echoed Bordeaux sentiment including Yankton Sioux Tribal Chairman Robert Flying Hawk who, along with Bordeaux, was an early supporter of the effort:
Lower Brule Sioux Tribal President Clyde Estes lauded Flying Hawk's sentiment citing the critical importance of health insurance and the tribes familiarity with the organizers at Dakotans for Health:
Crow Creek Sioux Tribal Chairman Peter Lengkeek who , like Bald Eagle, is a former combat veteran, agreed:
The show of support from Indian Country has been resounding for Dakotans for Health, but it is to be expected said Santee Sioux President Tony Reider:
Dakotans for Health Co-Founder Rick Weiland was thrilled to see such a strong showing of support from the Association and all sixteen of the tribal chairmen:
The endorsements represent all of the federally recognized tribes in the midwest plains states and come on the heals of several others groups has received from the states spiritual institutions, rural organizing networks, as well as the AFL-CIO.
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 and Defeat HJR 5003
Support the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Association. Make a donation to expand Medicaid and defend voting rights in South Dakota. You can donate online HERE.
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.