Medicaid Expansion Failure Results in Lost Benefits

Medicaid Expansion Failure Results in Lost Benefits

WYOMING — The Senate’s failure to pass the Medicaid expansion means 20,000 Wyoming residents may continue without health coverage and hospitals will continue to struggle under the burden of charity and uncompensated care.

Sen. Bernadine Craft, D-Sweetwater County, had the Senate’s third budget reading of the Medicaid expansion amendment last Friday. Although Governor Matt Mead recommended passing the amendment, the Senate did not pass it.

A great deal of discussion has taken place over the past several years about the benefits of Wyoming accepting the optional Medicaid expansion. If the amendment had passed and Wyoming had accepted the expansion, the following would have occurred.

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  • Approximately 20,000 Wyoming residents without health insurance would have received coverage.
  • The Wyoming Department of Health would save an estimated $33.5 million over the next two years.
  • The state of Wyoming would realize $268 million in federal Medicaid matching dollars for the next two years.

Senator Craft said passing the expansion would have been highly beneficial to Wyoming hospitals, many of which are struggling under the burdens of charity and uncompensated care. Wyoming hospitals report losing $110 million per year in costs attributed to serving uninsured individuals.