Last week a legislative committee recommended passage of two bills that could provide health insurance to several thousand low income Wyoming residents. The bills would use federal Medicaid expansion dollars to provide the health insurance. But Committee member Lee Filer doubts either bill will get far this session…mainly because many Republicans are concerned that the federal government will not keep its promise to pay for the insurance.
“If you look at our actual budget, 40 percent of it comes from the federal government. To say that we don’t expect the federal government to pay is ridiculous. We’ve also asked the Department of Health before in other committee meetings has the federal government ever not made due to the Department of Health? And the answer is no, they have always paid.”
Filer says the state will eventually get on board, but it could take four years.
"I don’t think we could right now. But we still have to try, the more we try the more it gets the wheels turning, the more people are learning about it and things like that…what the advantages are…the disadvantages are…and we owe it to the citizens to do it. "
He says that’s disappointing because a number of Wyoming citizens need help in order to be able to afford health insurance.