Legislative Committee Endorses Medicaid Expansion Bill

Nov 14, 2019

Credit ideastations.org

The Wyoming Legislature will take another crack at Medicaid expansion. The legislature's Joint Revenue Committee approved a proposed bill that will ask Gov. Mark Gordon to explore options for Wyoming's participation in expansion and determine whether it's financially viable for the state. Eventually lawmakers would need to approve a Wyoming plan.

The Wyoming Department of Health says some 19,000 Wyomingites could get health insurance under expansion. Committee Co-Chairman Cale Case of Lander said it's worth a look.

"I'd like to hang tough, I suppose, and say people ought to find their own insurance that the health care markets work, but I think the health care markets are really screwed up, I really do. And I think without insurance you are at a real disadvantage to get care, especially if you have a chronic disease," said Case.

The bill will need two thirds support or at least 20 votes in the state Senate in order to be debated. The Senate has voted down expansion several times in the past. Estimates say it will cost the state $18 million over the next two years, while the federal government would kick in $136 million.

Have a question about this story? Contact the reporter, Bob Beck, at btwo@uwyo.edu.