Rick Holm is the Prairie Doc. His program airs on KBRK radio in Brookings, on Bill Janklow's idea of public teevee and his column appears in my hometown paper the Elkton Record, in the Brookings Register and about sixty other rural South Dakota newspapers.
Mr. A belongs to the working-poor segment of our society, just above official levels of poverty and yet he cannot afford health insurance and primary care, let alone the private cost of an assisted living center or nursing home. If Medicaid was expanded in South Dakota, more than two billion dollars of federal health care funding would come into the state, helping healthcare coverage to 55,000 South Dakotans, in turn, helping to prevent rural nursing homes from closing. This would help Mr. A, and people like him, get comfort care during their dying days. [column, Dr. Rick Holm]Not only has the South Dakota Republican Party failed American Indians by not expanding Medicaid it has failed veterans and the elderly: its historically loyal voter base. But its more progressive neighbor to the north has seen the light.