During debate on a Medicaid reform bill, the Wyoming House of Representatives rejected an amendment that would have expanded Medicaid for over 17,000 uninsured state residents. Supporters noted that the state has looked for ways to reduce health care costs and they say the expansion would accomplish that. House Labor and Health Committee Chairwoman Elaine Harvey says the issue requires more study. The federal will pay 100 percent of the first three years of the expansion. Harvey says Wyoming can join at a later date.
“If we wait until our next legislative session, we can decide on implementation next February and have it fully implemented by April. We have been promised that. So we would lose four months to expansion. So we still have time to make a decision and we still have time to gather data,” says Harvey.
But supporters say there is no reason for delay and note that other conservative states have supported expansion.