State lawmakers advance Medicaid work requirement

The South Dakota House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a resolution that proposes a state constitutional amendment to allow for the state to consider a work requirement for “able-bodied” Medicaid recipients.  The vote was 60-to-8.

Resolution sponsor, Republican Rep. Tony Venhuizen from Sioux Falls, said the amendment would not require a work requirement but would allow the legislature to consider one in the future if passed.

Currently, Rep. Venhuizen said the constitutional amendment expanding Medicaid passed in 2022 does not allow the state to put any additional requirements on people who now qualify for Medicaid than past recipients.  He said that current federal policy also disallows a Medicaid work requirement. 

Republican Rep. Greg Jamison from Sioux Falls opposed the resolution and said that it sends a terrible message to voters that they want to work around what they voted for.  He and other opponents said the term “able-bodied” is not easily defined.

The resolution now moves to a House committee.

February 1, 2023

(Thanks, Todd Epp, SD Broadcasters Association Legislative Reporter)