Senate Begins Medicaid Expansion Debate

Jan 30, 2015

Gillette Senator Michael Von Flatern explains the Medicaid Expansion bill on Friday.
Credit Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Media

The State Senate has started debate on legislation that expands Medicaid to more people in the state. The bill is based on the SHARE plan that was developed by the State Department of Health. It provides health care services to participants who pay into the program like typical health insurance. 

The Senate rejected a plan by Casper Republican Charles Scott to require Health Savings Accounts. Bill Sponsor Michael Von Flatern of Gillette says he supports an amendment that requires the expansion be paid for mostly with federal money.

Any additional costs must be picked up by the State Department of Health through the existing budget. 

“They don’t want another burden on the state that we have to carry forward at all and they don’t want to increase the Medicaid budget. If we can see savings as projected by the Department of Health in the other programs they have and we can add those up and pay for this program so the expansion costs us nothing, it’s great.” 

Von Flatern says it’s still hard to say how supportive the Senate is of the measure. A first vote is expected on Monday.