Medicaid expansion debate gets a warmup

Jan 8, 2013

Two Leaders of the Wyoming House of Representatives expressed different views of expanding Medicaid during the opening day of the legislative session. 

Speaker of the House Tom Lubnau said during his opening remarks to the House that he is not a fan of the Affordable Care Act and wants the state to wait before it considers expanding Medicaid for more citizens in Wyoming.  Lubnau doubts that the federal government can afford the program.

“Hard to tell if the sparkle of Medicaid expansion is a long term federal promise or a fishing lure calculated to forever hooking the state into long term federal requirements.”

But House Minority Floor Leader Mary Throne notes that Wyoming’s own Department of Health said the expansion would save the state over 47 million dollars.

“Our hospitals support Medicaid expansion because it has the potential to reduce their expenses for uncompensated care.  Which were 200 million dollars in 2011.  More important, Medicaid expansion will provide better health care for many of the working poor in our state.”

Lubnau also supported letting the federal government run a health insurance exchange for Wyoming instead of the state.