Legislative Committee Endorses Alternative Medicaid Expansion Bill

Dec 16, 2014

A legislative committee has rejected the Wyoming Department of Health's proposed Medicaid Expansion plan in favor of a bill crafted by the committee.  The Share plan was also endorsed by the governor.

The bill  approved by the committee would provide participants with a Medicaid-funded health savings account that they could use to purchase private insurance.  Senator Charles Scott said that he believes that will encourage participants to be careful with their health care spending.

Gillette Representative Eric Barlow said that remains to be seen.

“We don’t have a lot of information about how that actually works, how that actually affects individual health care choice behaviors, and quite honestly what it costs to administer the program.  And those are things we’ve gotta sort out before that bill moves forward between now and the end of the session.”

Cheyenne Representative Mary Throne said the committee should have approved both bills.

“The department has looked at the share plan, they’ve evaluated the pros and cons of these different approaches and we need to at least have a broader discussion about the value of the share plan.”

Thorne says that could still happen if an individual legislator sponsors it in the upcoming Legislative session.   The Committee vote marks the first time that the Joint Labor, Health, and Social Services Committee as endorsed a Medicaid Expansion plan.