Governor Calls For Medicaid Expansion In State Of The State

Jan 14, 2015

Credit Wyoming Legislature

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead is calling on legislators to pass a bill that expands Medicaid services in the state. During his State of the State message Mead argued that failing to offer Medicaid to more people will hurt hospitals across Wyoming because it increases their uncompensated care.  

A legislative committee recently rejected an expansion plan developed by the State Department of Health, but Mead said that doesn’t matter.

"My plan or yours or something better-we fought the fight, we’ve done the work to find the best fit for Wyoming, we are out of time outs and we need to address Medicaid expansion this session."

Mead also pointed out that federal dollars will be used to pay for Medicaid expansion and that if Wyoming passes on that money, other states will get to use Wyoming’s tax dollars.

Senate Minority floor Leader Chris Rothfuss agreed that something needs to pass to help those who can’t get health insurance any other way.      

“We need a solution for those people and we do need it right now because those people continue to suffer because of our inability to lead on this policy.  I am open to really any approach that is viable, that works and meets the needs of health care for those individuals.”

But most agree that the legislation will face hurdles. Speaker of the House Kermit Brown said it will be a difficult debate in the House and Senate President Phil Nicholas said he and others continue to have concerns about the concept. But Nicholas added that it will get a fair discussion.