Legislative
5:30 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Senate Kills Health Insurance Expansion Bill

A bill that would use federal money to help poor people buy insurance was soundly defeated in the Wyoming Senate.

The so-called Arkansas Plan would use federal Medicaid expansion money to help those who need insurance to buy it through the state.  Instead of people being on Medicaid, they would have actual insurance. 

The Senate Labor, Health, and Social Services Committee recommended passing the bill last month, but Senator Charles Scott who chairs the committee voted against the bill because he says it's a long way from being workable for Wyoming.

Committee member Senator Bernadine Craft  admits that the legislation needed work, but she urged the Senate to let lawmakers fine tune it.

“I think this is a discussion that we need to have and I think this is a good vehicle to open that discussion with.”

But Senators failed to approve the bill for introduction. Senate Health and Labor Committee Chairman Charles Scott says the bill was not ready for prime time. 

He will submit a bill Thursday that could help some of those in need of health care assistance.  There are other Medicaid expansion bills to be considered, but Scott says the legislature seems opposed to the concept due to perceived problems with the Affordable Care Act.