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South Dakota Senate Approves Ban On New Nursing Home Beds
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
February 2, 2005

PIERRE, SOUTH DAKOTA--South Dakota state senators on Monday overwhelmingly approved SB38, a measure which will prohibit new nursing home beds across the state.

The bill, which is supported by Governor Mike Rounds, would make permanent a temporary ban that was passed in 1988 and has been repeatedly extended, according to the Rapid City Journal.

Those supporting the bill pointed to the impact that the high cost of nursing home care has on the state's Medicaid budget, along with an increased emphasis on community alternatives in long-term care.

The vote was held up by a debate over whether South Dakota's nine Native American tribes should be allowed to build new nursing homes on their reservations. Opponents of the measure argued that many Lakota and Sioux simply refuse to move to nursing homes outside the reservations and away from their families.

While one senator said that, as sovereign nations, the tribes have the right to build their own nursing facilities, another noted that they cannot collect Medicaid money for nursing home beds that have not been licensed by the state.

The measure now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.

"Ban on more nursing homes clears Senate" (Rapid City Journal)


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