Dear Governor Daugaard,

I am disappointed. Twice.

First, you chose not to call a special session on Medicaid.

In my opinion you missed a chance to have an in-depth discussion on a subject which you and others spent months putting together. Your proposal was well thought out, logical, sound, fair, and meaningful.

When implemented it would have helped thousands of South Dakotans get healthier, making them more productive members of our society.

You would have had hundreds, probably thousands, of folks supporting your efforts. That support might have changed some votes.

If you had called the session before the primary, some of the thinking people who took the risk to support you on teacher pay probably would have supported this cause. Even after the primary, calling a special session would have sent the message of your seriousness to fix the inequities of Indian Health, and desire to lift the lives of those in need.

Even if the proposal failed, it would have failed with honor.

My second disappointment is your announcement to not bring the issue up this session.

I know your meeting with Vice President-Elect Mike Pence influenced your decision. However, you know it is going to take the new administration months to get their feet on the ground. You also know they are NOT going to be able to scrap the Affordable Care Act and start over, and any changes in Medicaid will take equally as long, leaving all of us in limbo. Not a good place to be.

I urge you to change your position. You have invested much time and energy. That time and energy has given hope to the many poor people in this state, who are craving leadership and truly need assistance.

You have led on criminal justice, teacher pay, and are leading on the reforms needed for those with mental health/addiction issues, who find themselves in trouble with the law. All of those issues are good for our state and our people.

Please don't get cold feet now. If you stop leading us to your solution, I know you will kick yourself in the coming years. Yes, the far right wing of your party has more control in Pierre now. But you have the bully pulpit and the support of thousands crying out for a solution. Please don't let "hyper-partisanship" blind you to your vow of leading all the people with your Good Citizenship.

Your friend,
Rick Knobe

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