Updated: Apr 19
And, in Indian Country, support grows to expand Medicaid insurance
Indian Country, South Dakota
Dakotans For Health Tribal Spokesman Remi Beautiful Bald Eagle announced the first round in a series of endorsements from the state’s American Indian tribes today. Bald Eagle joined the organization last month setting an aggressive goal to rally Indian Country around a cause that would extend health insurance to 42,000 working class South Dakotans who need it.
Beautiful Bald Eagle's efforts have received widespread praise including from Rosebud Sioux Nation President, Rodney Bordeaux who heralded the former combat engineer as a 'bridge builder,' citing the grassroots group's 'reliability' and deep commitment to Indian Country:
"We are excited to be part of this team and look forward to working with Remi, Rick, Pam, Adam and the entire Dakotans for Health network on this important task." continued Bordeaux.
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 Bald Eagle and the organizers at Dakotans for Health:
Crow Creek Sioux Tribal Chairman Peter Lengkeek who , like Bald Eagle, is a former combat veteran, agreed with Estes:
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 humbled and honored to have the support of the tribal chairman. Working class people deserve access to quality healthcare and affordable prescription drugs. Let's roll.” Dakotans for Health Co-Founder, Rick Weiland said.
The endorsements are a "first wave" and come on the heels of several others the grassroots 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.
Update: the Dakota Free Press recently wrote a piece on Remi Bald Eagle and the Dakotans for Health movement. You can read it HERE.
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.