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House Kills Medicaid Work Requirement

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A bill that would have imposed a 20-hour work requirement on those who receive Medicaid has been defeated.

The House of Representatives voted 39-20 to kill the measure that would have removed health insurance if the requirements weren't met. It would have saved the state $5.6 million in Medicaid costs.

Gillette Representative Scott Clem said he disagreed with those who said the bill was trying to hurt people.

"I look at this as a compassionate bill that says we won't let you wallow in self pity, because that's not good for you."

Laramie Representative Charles Pelkey countered that if this population loses its health care coverage, costs go up for everyone because it will lead to an increase in uncompensated care.

"What happens then? Well that cost goes out and gets spread among those who have insurance and those of us who can afford medical care and Wyoming's most expensive health care system in the lower 48 becomes even more expensive," said Pelkey

Others doubted employers would be willing to hire people with limited job skills. Similar legislation also failed last year.

Bob Beck retired from Wyoming Public Media after serving as News Director of Wyoming Public Radio for 34 years. During his time as News Director WPR has won over 100 national, regional and state news awards.
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