https://betterwyo.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/medex-rally.png 869 932 BetterWyoming /wp-content/uploads/2020/07/A-Better-Wyoming_logo.png BetterWyoming2022-03-01 18:12:542022-03-01 18:12:54Procedural hurdles and political calculations help trip up Wyoming Medicaid expansion
Rules governing the legislature’s “budget session” and lawmakers wary of right-wing primaries helped thwart efforts to pass Medicaid expansion this year. Meanwhile, grassroots advocates vow to mobilize around the 2022 elections.
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Advocates for healthcare access have built a grassroots movement to convince lawmakers to finally expand the state's program. But procedural hurdles during the "budget session" remain.
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1. Tens of thousands of people in Wyoming don’t have health…
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The medical treatment the former U.S. Senator received after his recent accident starkly contrasts the Wyoming healthcare system most of us are stuck with—counties that can’t afford ambulances, hospitals that can’t treat patients, and people for whom a trip to the ER means massive medical debt.
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The Legislature’s Joint Revenue Committee will take up Medicaid expansion this week, with a focus on translating some of the $1.4 billion Wyoming will receive from the American Rescue Plan into sustainable healthcare funding for low-income residents.
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The Legislature cut more than $100 million from the Wyoming Department of Health’s budget this session, including tens of millions from mental health and substance abuse programs while the state is experiencing a suicide crisis.
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Two identical bills to update Wyoming’s Medicaid program came before the same Senate committee this session. A senator who supported the first bill flipped and killed the second. But not before a movement coalesced that will continue to fight for affordable healthcare access in Wyoming.
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Members of the “Freedom Caucus” mounted a vigorous attempt to stop a bill to extend Wyoming Medicaid coverage to low-income residents on Wednesday, comparing poor people to livestock and simply denying any problem exists. But they failed, and for the first time ever, a Medicaid expansion bill passed the Wyoming House.
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Many lawmakers explained that they had opposed similar measures in the past. But Wyoming has failed to find an alternative solution, the federal government is offering more funding, and tens of thousands of people in the state still lack access to healthcare. So this year is different.
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Two separate bills to extend insurance coverage to tens of thousands of Wyomingites have advanced thanks to public support and increased federal funding.