In A Historic Vote, The Wyoming House Votes To Expand Medicaid

Mar 24, 2021

Casper Rep. Steve Harshman during Medicaid Expansion debate.
Credit Bob Beck

The Wyoming House of Representatives has given final approval to a bill that would expand Medicaid in the state and provide health care coverage to an estimated 25,000 people.

The bill passed despite concerns about long-term costs and whether the federal government will continue paying its share of the plan.

Wheatland Rep. Jeremy Haroldson claimed that he knows people who rejected higher paying jobs so that they wouldn't lose subsidized health care.

"Please hear me right, I want people to have the ability to have healthcare, I understand this need. But if we're not careful we will create a golden handcuff that will keep and hold people in poverty," said Haroldson

House Health and Labor Committee Chair Sue Wilson said it's worked well in many other states and added that there is a need for the program in Wyoming.

"We've done a lot of research on this. After ten years of trying to come up with plan B, I see no plan B," Wilson said. "But I do see people come through the Labor Committee with serious, serious needs...people in your communities. And we haven't come up with a better answer."

The bill now heads to the Senate, where a similar bill died on the floor without a hearing earlier this week.