expanding Medicaid

Stephanie Joyce

Governor Matt Mead may be changing his mind when it comes to expanding Medicaid services for low income people in the state. After publicly rejecting the notion of Medicaid expansion late last year, the governor says he is negotiating in good faith with the federal department of Health and Human Services to develop a Wyoming specific Medicaid expansion plan. 

Mead continues to oppose Medicaid Expansion

Nov 29, 2013

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead is recommending that the legislature not expand Medicaid services to the some 16-thousand low income people in the state who cannot afford health insurance.  Mead says he will not support any form of Medicaid Expansion because of problems the federal government has had in implementing the Affordable Care Act. 

“Even if it was gonna work it still seems to me that the ACA is more bent on how to pay for medical costs

rather than the questions of how do we lower costs and how do we get more medical care to more people?”

A group from Fremont County will rally before a legislative meeting Tuesday/Today to encourage the committee support expanding the state’s Medicaid program. 

The Joint Health and Labor committee will consider a revised expansion proposal from the Department of Health that would provide a limited expansion of Medicaid. 

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.” 

With the re-election of President Obama, Governor Matt Mead said it is finally clear that the Affordable Care Act  will be the law of the land, and the state will need to be prepared by 2014. 

Mead plans to have a recommendation to the legislature on whether to expand Medicaid and how to go about it.   During a news conference, the governor indicated that the state could realize some savings if went ahead with an expansion.

Governor Matt Mead is confronted with the issue of whether or not the state should expand Medicaid services to serve more residents.  It’s a proposal that was included in the Affordable Care Act, but this summer the US Supreme Court ruled that states should be allowed to make this decision.  The argument for doing it is that it would help bring down long term costs of health care, because those who cannot get or afford insurance would be covered under Medicaid.  That should reduce cost shifting.   But there is an expense to the state and a recent study commissioned for the Department of Hea