November 16th, 2012

Nov 16, 2012

Health Department director proposed new Medicaid Idea 
One of the costs that continues to grow in Wyoming’s budget is the cost of Medicaid.  Lawmakers were so distressed that they ordered the Department of Health to look for ways to control those costs. Department of Health Director Tom Forslund has proposed a plan to address the issue.  But first he explains why those costs have gone up.

Obamcare means insurance rebates for some residents
Some Teton County residents have found something surprising in their mailbox - a refund check from their health insurance company. Since when do health insurance companies send refund checks? Since Obamacare instituted something called the Medical Loss Ratio, or 80/20 rule. Rebecca Huntington explains.

New DEQ director shares his plans for Wyoming
The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality has a new director, Todd Parfitt, the agency’s former deputy director. He took over after former director John Corra retired. Parfitt has spent about 20 years with DEQ, and he has also worked for an environmental consulting company in Ohio. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden spoke with Parfitt about his plans for tackling some of the environmental issues facing the state.

Four more years: What a second Obama administration could mean for energy in Wyoming
Many fossil fuel developers campaigned against President Obama this election season, fearing the effect of regulations and other restrictions on their industry, while environmental activists called for four more years. Now that Mr. Obama has won a second term, Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez spoke with some stakeholders about what that could mean for the energy industry in Wyoming.

Family lawyer discusses custody battles and other effects of domestic violence on children
A few weeks ago, we reported that victims of domestic violence are staying in shelters longer than they used to, in part because it’s gotten harder for them to find jobs and affordable housing. We turn now to a different aspect of domestic violence: children. When a victim decides to leave an abuser, there are often battles over custody. Dona Playton heads the Domestic Violence Legal Assistance Program at UW. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden spoke with her about legal battles she often sees. She says abusive fathers ask for – and receive – custody of the children more often than you might expect.

Riverton tries again to tackle its drinking problem
For years some in Fremont County have been concerned about the populations rate of alcohol consumption.  In most categories the county ranks at or higher than most counties in the state in areas of concern such as alcohol related arrests or binge drinking.  The county is tops in the state in alcohol related crashes and ranks a solid fifth in alcohol related crimes.   Over the years community leaders in Riverton have periodically tried to address some of these problems.  Since spring a new effort is under way.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck has more.

Poem: “Devils Tower,” by Kristen Gunther
University of Wyoming PhD student, budding ecologist and writer Kristen Gunther reads her poem, “Devils Tower.”

The Importance of Being A Loser
Author Scott Farris can empathize with famous political losers. He was once the Democratic nominee for Congress to Wyoming, but lost to Barbara Cubin in 1998. Farris takes a look at the legacies of some notable-yet-unsuccessful presidential candidates in his book, “Almost President, the men who lost the race but changed the nation.”

This year, Mitt Romney garnered attention for a hard-fought campaign followed by a gracious acceptance speech. Scott Farris tells Rebecca Martinez that speech is a crucial part of every election.