END OF 2018 OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD (42 states)

Time: D H M S

Wyoming Governor still wants to expand Medicaid

Not the highest-profile ACA/healthcare story in the world, but Wyoming almost never makes the news, and this is especially noteworthy given the state, the Governor and the GOP having total control over the federal government:

As health care debate simmers, Mead laments lack of Medicaid expansion in Wyoming

Gov. Matt Mead lamented the $100 million that Wyoming left on the table by choosing not to expand Medicaid, and he expressed concern for the state’s hospitals while discussing health care with the Star-Tribune recently.

Mead echoed some of the fears that many Wyoming hospital officials have expressed for months: that congressional proposals to overhaul the health care system may have negative effects on facilities here and that the state has suffered because it chose not to allow more people to qualify for Medicaid.

“The idea that we did not accept Medicaid expansion and things are going to be good just hasn’t turned out,” he said.

He said that because the state didn’t expand Medicaid — a proposal he supported in the past — Wyoming has missed out on $100 million a year in federal aid. He added that in Wyoming, the program is currently facing a $20 million deficit.

Here's the money quote, though:

“The ACA, there’s certainly some room for improvement,” he continued. “But to throw it out just because it’s the ACA, I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

Think about what a stunning statement this is coming from a Republican Governor of a deep-red state (Donald Trump got 68% of the vote here, more than 3x Hillary Clinton's 22%, while the state legislature is held by Republicans 26:4 in the Senate and 51:9 in the House).

Ah, well. I guess the 22,000 Wyomingites (?) who'd be eligible for Medicaid if it was expanded will have to either move out of state or wait for a sea change in the state legislature...