How about this? Instead of spending state money to set up a drug test regimen for hydroxychloroquine, let's use those dollars to expand Medicaid in the state of South Dakota.

Our refusal to provide health-care coverage for low-income people who don't have coverage because they can't afford it on their own is a moral failing of our state as a whole.

Across the country, COVID-19 is hitting low-income people harder than any other group, and it's due in large part to people not being able to address underlying chronic issues like asthma and diabetes and heart and liver diseases, which make them more vulnerable.

Another driver is the stress that people are under when they see a pandemic headed at them and realize that if it hits their family, the medical bills will sink them. Don't make people decide whether they should feed their kids or take them to the doctor.

It's not that the testing regimen won't get done if the state of South Dakota doesn't do it. There are probably a dozen other testing regimens for it being set up around the country right now. It's that if the state of South Dakota doesn't take care of the Medicare expansion, it won't get done at all.

And don't get me started on the fact that the economic underpinnings of our health-care system will be improved by that expansion.

Don Amert

Madison, April 15