Senate Committee Approves Medicaid Expansion

Jan 28, 2015

The Senate Labor and Health Committee has approved a Medicaid Expansion bill on a 4 to 1 vote.

The bill models the Wyoming Department of Health’s Share plan, but also includes a Health and Wellness account that participants would use for medical co-pays. Despite the vote, the bill continues to have lukewarm support. 

Casper Republican Bill Landen voted for the bill in committee, but he may not support it on the Senate floor.

"You know I think it’s a very, very expensive program adding more people to the government doles. For the past several years I’ve just not been on board with expanding those government programs."

Senator Ogden Driskill of Devils Tower was the only member to vote against the bill. Driskill has a number of concerns including future costs to the state, but says he understands that the need is great.

“I’ve been there before as far as getting left out in the cold and the frustration that comes with that is heart breaking and it’s not fair and it’s not right.

If the bill becomes law, Governor Matt Mead would have to negotiate with federal health officials to get the plan approved. Senate Majority Leader Eli Bebout says that the Senate could debate the bill as early as Friday.