Health Care Trust Fund
By Jackelyn Severin
Governor Dennis Daugaard says his proposed cuts to Medicaid funding are needed to fix the state’s structural deficit. However one health care official says there could be a possible alternative to cutting Medicaid funding without putting more pressure on the state’s budget.
Mark Deak is with South Dakota Health Care Association. He says ten years ago the association worked with former Governor Bill Janklow and lawmakers to establish a health care trust fund from federal money. He says part of the fund is used for Medicaid services.
"Under current law only 4 percent of the earnings of that fund can be used to fund Medicaid. However the earnings have been significantly more than 4 percent," says Deak, "So it certainly makes sense to use all of those earnings to at least help blunt those cuts if not stop them entirely."
Deak says if lawmakers follow through with cuts to Medicaid funding its highly likely some nursing homes and facilities will close.
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