Injunctions and amendments and arsonists, oh my!
More than 90 percent of the Department of Health's budget passes through to local communities.

Wyo. Dept. of Health to face funding challenges during 2024 session

State lawmakers gutted the health agency in 2021 to the tune of $100 million in cuts, but then restored much of the funding using federal pandemic aid dollars. Now, the federal funds are expiring, and legislators will decide whether to backfill the agency’s funding or let the deep cuts return to mental health programs, senior services, provider reimbursement, and more.
Long travel for medical care is always time consuming and costly, but for some people who need treatment it's simply impossible.

REPORT: Distance to care and lack of transportation prevent Wyomingites from accessing healthcare

For many Wyoming residents, going out of state for healthcare is a familiar, if troublesome and expensive exercise. For folks without reliable transportation, huge distances to doctors can prove a serious threat when they need medical help.
Without other resources for support, many Wyomingites suffering from mental illness turn to self-medication.

REPORT: Sputtering mental health efforts in Wyoming are not enough

The problems of mental illness, suicide, and substance abuse have plagued Wyoming communities for decades. Lawmakers have taken baby steps in recent years to address the issues, but according to most state residents, much more must be done.
Many Wyomingites skip primary care visits because they cost too much, only to end up in the ER—with much higher bills

REPORT: Wyoming’s sky-high insurance and treatment costs are residents’ number one healthcare concern

Nearly half of people who responded to Better Wyoming surveys named affordability the number one healthcare issue for them and their families. Meanwhile, a new report confirms that the cost of care in Wyoming is nearly the highest in the nation. While other states enact laws to increase price transparency and decrease uninsured rates, Wyoming lawmakers have done little.
One third of survey responders said lack of healthcare providers was the most pressing healthcare problem in their Wyoming community.

REPORT: Wyoming's physician shortage is a serious concern

Everybody knows that Wyoming is a rural state, and so we can’t expect to have every kind of specialist. But we should be able to expect better than what we’ve got.
Older people are Wyoming's fastest growing demographic, and many communities don't have the resources to care for them.

Can Wyoming care for its aging population?

A new report demonstrates the healthcare and other challenges Wyoming’s seniors face, showing a rapidly aging state without the infrastructure needed to care for our 65+ residents. But the report also offers boatloads of data that can help policymakers find solutions.
Before threatening to strike, some ambulance workers earned less than fast food employees.

Fremont Co. EMS workers show the power and benefits of organized labor

Tired of dismal pay and awful conditions, workers for the company that provides ambulance services to Fremont County organized and took action. Their success winning better pay and jobs can be an inspiration for others around Wyoming.
Losing health coverage can mean interrupting care for life-threatening illness.

SAVE OUR CHILDREN: Wyo. lawmakers allow thousands of kids to lose healthcare coverage

Wyoming lawmakers—many of whom often claim to want to “save our children”—are standing by as a bureaucratic boondoggle strips 7,500 kids of their Medicaid health insurance.
Mental illness is a growing problem among young people in Wyoming.

Wyoming barriers: Suicidal students don’t learn much

In the first of a three-part series on barriers to opportunity that young people and families face in our state, Better Wyoming looks at the Legislature’s recent efforts—and failures—to address the growing problem of mental illness among Wyoming K-12 students.
"Aye" votes included, from left to right, Reps. Bill Allemand, Alan Slagle, Dalton Banks, Christopher Knapp, Tomi Strock, Ben Hornock, Sarah Penn, Tony Locke, Clarence Styvar

Session recap: The day the ‘Freedom Caucus’ voted for the biggest govt. expenditure in Wyo. history

The "small government" group voted to spend nearly a billion dollars each year of Wyoming taxpayer money to prevent private businesses from requiring masks or vaccines.
The lack of mental healthcare in Wyoming remains a fatal issue.

Session recap: Legislature falls flat confronting Wyo’s mental health and suicide crises

Lawmakers acknowledged in 2023 the problems of Wyoming’s crushing suicide rate (including teen suicide) and lack of basic mental healthcare access for rural communities and uninsured people. But resistance by the Freedom Caucus to any form of government program whatsoever helped defeat several proposals that could have saved lives.
Injunctions and amendments and arsonists, oh my!

Session recap: WTF is going on with abortion in Wyoming?

The Legislature ditched the "trigger ban" it passed in 2022 in favor of two new bans—all of which are or will be tied up in court. Abortion remains legal until a ruling comes down from the Wyoming Supreme Court about whether abortion is "healthcare" protected by the state constitution. Meanwhile, the governor and others increasingly believe the issue will be decided eventually at the ballot.