The first meeting of the South Dakota Medicaid Opportunities and Challenges Task Force will be held next week in Pierre.
The meeting in the Hills Room of the Red Rossa restaurant will run from 3 p.m. -- 7 p.m. CDT on Tuesday, April 23, and from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, April 24. Public testimony will be taken from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday evening.
The task force is comprised of a diverse group of stakeholders, including legislators, physicians, behavioral health providers, dentists, community health providers, hospital officials, and state agency personnel.
The primary purpose of the task force is to develop a report for Gov. Dennis Daugaard and the Legislature that identifies the "pros and cons" of expanding Medicaid in South Dakota.
In accordance with the Governor's recommendation, the State of South Dakota chose not to expand Medicaid during the 2013 legislative session.
"I am pleased South Dakotans are willing to give their time and talents to serve on this important task force," Gov. Daugaard stated. "Medicaid expansion is a complicated decision that should not be entered into lightly. Due to all the uncertainty surrounding the federal budget and federal health reforms taking effect in 2014, it would have been hasty to move forward with expansion this year. I formed a task force because I want to gather all the information in order to ensure that South Dakota makes the best decision possible based on data and facts "
There will be additional task force meetings during the spring and summer with a report due by Sept. 15, 2013, to the Governor and Legislature.