Corruption on Parade in the South Dakota House

The vote on the motion to amend HB 1220 (to insert a "suicide clause" into SB 38). The amendment failed in the "Republican" House 53-16.

Phil Jensen


By Charles Poppen

Last year South Dakota accepted one million dollars to study the state acceptance of ObamaCare via Health Exchange. Of this amount, over $600,000 has been spent so far. Curiously, people like Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana refused the money and wrote a nice “Keep your money, we’re not going to do it” letter to Obama. This governor did not fall for the scam that is ObamaCare. This governor also showed backbone. We should take heart that there are still people in America like him.

During the last legislative session, our legislators in Pierre were told that they must pass Senate Bill 38 and Senate Bill 43 (aka embracing ObamaCare) to lay the groundwork for health exchanges or Washington would do it for us and we would have little or no control over our health exchanges. Our legislators were also told by representatives of the large health “systems” and the largest insurance companies that not passing SB 38 and SB 43 would put them in an impossible position. Both SB 38 and SB 43 passed.

Rick Kriebel 2016


But when the same arguments were used in North Dakota, legislators thought something just didn’t smell right. They did not pass similar legislation. Because of the case made by special interests who think they will profit from ObamaCare a special session of the North Dakota Legislature was convened this past November. What legislators discovered was that ObamaCare did not contain any funding mechanism for the feds to start and run health exchanges at the state level.

In other words, it was a hollow threat. Additionally, it was discovered that despite claims of flexibility by the Federal HHS for states setting up their own health exchanges, there is little or no flexibility beyond the tight restrictions set out in the regulations. Okay, so how about big hospitals and big insurance companies being in an impossible position if ObamaCare was not embraced? They found that statement wasn’t true either. The special session passed no legislation with regards to ObamaCare. House majority Leader Al Carlson summed up: Implementing Health Care Exchanges would be “foolish” and “passing anything would send the wrong message to Washington.”

When I called North Dakota Insurance Commissioner’s Office it was relayed to me that they call Federal HHS at least weekly to stay up to date with any new developments. “After all this time HHS doesn’t even have any final rules or partnership plans for health exchanges” I was told.

Woodrow Wilcox


When legislators in South Dakota found they had passed SB 38 & SB 43 based on statements that were untrue they asked for a chance to vote on the bills again. House Bill 1165 and House Bill 1167 were introduced this session to repeal SB 38 & SB 43.

The bills were heard in the House State Affairs Committee first thing this past Monday morning. The reasons for the repealers were articulated quite well. It was only fair to let the bills move to the floor so other law makers could vote on the acceptance of ObamaCare based on FACTS. Defenders of ObamaCare gave the same reasons for protecting SB 38 and SB 43 as they gave for passing the bills in the first place. The reasons, of course, were no truer now than they were last year. Not one member of the committee questioned the accuracy of statements made by the opponents. Nor did one committee member ask why North Dakota, Louisiana and other states have said no thanks to the embrace of Obama Care. Don’t those states have hospitals and insurance companies too?

The committee actually rushed to kill the bills. Rep. Hal Wick was the only dissenting voice. Twelve members of the house prevented the rest of the legislature from addressing laws that were passed based on misinformation. And they did it knowingly. And for whose benefit? Not patients or doctors, that’s for sure. This action represents a level of corruption I’ve never seen in South Dakota in my lifetime. Will we hold these so called representatives accountable? Or will we just lumber down the road to socialism obediently without a whimper.

Reprinted with permission from the author. Originally posted on the Siouxland Republican Women website.

Charles Poppen is the producer of the documentary Rethinking Health Care



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