Staff 2-22, 2016
The State Senate shot down another attempt at Medicaid expansion in Wyoming on Friday. The Senate voted 20-10 against a budget amendment that would have restored $268 million in federal Medicaid expansion funding to the Department of Health. Senator Bernadine Craft from Rock Springs introduced the amendment. She says the State is giving its own taxpayers’ money away to other states.
Senator Tony Ross from Cheyenne, cochairman of the Joint Appropriations Committee, says, after years of voting against Medicaid expansion, the budget problems the State is facing were a driving factor in changing his mind on the issue.
Senator Dan Dockstader from Afton says the State is dealing with tough budget cuts right now. He says it would be even harder dealing with cuts to a massive program like the Medicaid expansion.
Senator Chris Rothfuss says the State has had five years to figure out a solution to Medicaid expansion and has failed.
Governor Matt Mead pushed for Medicaid expansion. In a statement he said he is disappointed and that support for the expansion continues to grow. Mead added that the State will not provide health care coverage to 20,000 Wyoming citizens. And hospitals will continue to struggle with the burden of uncompensated care.