Wyoming: 9th time's the charm? State legislature to consider Medicaid expansion AGAIN in 2023
With South Dakota becoming the latest holdout state to finally expand Medicaid to adults earning up to 138% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) under the Affordable Care Act last month, there's now just 11 states remaining which still haven't done so.
The smallest of these, which is also the smallest state in the country, is Wyoming, which has had a long & storied history when it comes to Medicaid expansion fakeouts. The "Equality State" legislature has considered expanding Medicaid to the roughly 19,000 residents who would become newly eligible for the program eight times since the ACA was signed into law in 2010, only to see approval of it fail at one stage or another every time.
Well, according to this article by Katie Roenigk at "County 10" in Fremont County, Wyoming, it looks like the 9th time may be the charm:
‘Let’s just get this done’: Wyoming Legislature to consider Medicaid expansion again in 2023
Medicaid expansion will be up for debate once again when the Wyoming Legislature convenes for its 67th session in January.
The legislature’s Joint Revenue Committee voted to advance the Medical Treatment Opportunity Act to the legislative session during a meeting this month.
It’s the same bill the legislature considered during the 2022 session, state staffers said.
The proposed legislation would allow Medicaid expansion to occur in Wyoming as long as the federal contribution to the program remains at 90 percent or higher.
...the American Rescue Plan Act offers an incentive for Medicaid expansion that would bring in an extra $54 million.
The $54 million incentive referenced here is a straight-out bribe included in the American Rescue Plan in 2021 which simply dumped millions (or even billions, in the case of Florida & Texas) of dollars on Medicaid expansion holdout states just to entice them to finally, finally do what they should have done a decade ago. Ironically, the two states which have qualified for it so far are Missouri and Oklahoma...both of which had already voted to expand Medicaid before the ARP passed anyway. South Dakota should receive perhaps $110 million for doing so next year, however.
...The WDH estimates that Medicaid expansion would allow about 19,000 additional Wyoming residents to be eligible for health insurance through the federal program.
...[WY GOP Sen. Cale] Case formerly opposed Medicaid expansion, but he said his perspective has evolved over the years, and now he supports the move, joining the ranks of the majority of Wyoming medical professionals, employers, business owners, residents and Republicans.
“Let’s just get this done,” Case said. “I’m ready.”
Wyoming Sen. Wendy Schuler, R-Evanston, said the last Medicaid expansion poll she looked at showed “about 70 percent of Wyomingites support this.”
I know I join plenty of others in rolling my eyes and screaming "about damned time!" but...whatever. Regardless of why it took so long for them to come around (I have my own suspicions about that but I'll bite my tongue for the moment), in the end, they've done so...or at least it appears that way.
If the Wyoming GOP goes ahead and pulls the trigger on this, that will leave just 10 states left which haven't expanded Medicaid under the ACA: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas & Wisconsin. It should be noted that there's a real chance of North Carolina (Democratic governor, GOP legislature) finally passing it as well next session; it's also worth noting that Wisconsin is a special case, as they've already partly expanded Medicaid to residents earning up to 100% FPL.