Legislative
5:28 pm
Wed December 26, 2012

Lawmakers get ready to debate loss of federal money vs. Medicaid expansion

In early 2013 the state legislature will discuss cutting the state budget.  While some say only minimal cuts are needed, others are not so sure.  State Senator Tony Ross says the so-called fiscal cliff could add to the loss of federal money the state is already dealing with, starting with the loss of abandoned mine land money last fall.

“As a result of the loss of AML funds or there is even talks that there may be a push to cut back on federal mineral royalties.  If they do something like that it effects us here in a very big way.” 

It’s why Ross does not want the state to expand Medicaid services, fearing that the federal government would not meet its financial obligation.  But House Minority Floor Leader Mary Throne thinks that ridiculous.

“The federal government gives us lots of money every year for a number of things and so we suddenly are saying we can’t take this Medicaid expansion?  And we always start with the wrong question, what to do with those uninsured?  If not Medicaid, what do we do with them?

Throne points out that if Wyoming does not expand Medicaid services, it could actually cost the state 50 million dollars over six years.