Legislature Defeats Another Medicaid Expansion Bill

Feb 13, 2014

The Wyoming House of Representatives failed to introduce the second of two committee-sponsored Medicaid Expansion bills, essentially ending the chance that lawmakers will approve an expansion this session.

The bill was based on the Medicaid fit program that was created by the Wyoming Department of Health. Cheyenne Republican Sue Wilson urged the House to debate it.

"We can bring our own tax dollars back to Wyoming, we can cut our general fund spending by maybe 57 million in over three years, we can cut the cost shifted to our own insurance plans, we can maybe work with an imperfect program and maybe make it better, but we can't do that unless you vote aye, please vote aye."

The bill fell eight votes short of introduction.  Representative Elaine Harvey said this week that it would be a huge disappointment not to get a Medicaid Expansion measure to the House or Senate floor. But she added that "there is a lot of opposition to the Affordable Care Act and that makes it difficult to get much support."

Meanwhile, the Senate failed to introduce a bill known as Obamacare relief that was sponsored by Senate Health and Labor Committee Chairman Charles Scott.  It was intended to help those who aren't eligible for expansion as well as those who have seen their insurance rates skyrocket.  That bill missed introduction by a single vote.