Rally raises awareness for Medicaid expansion bill

Sheridan residents gather to support Medicaid expansion. (Photo by Pat Blair)

Braving rain and chill, a concerned group of residents gathered in Grinnell Plaza Monday night in a rally to raise awareness about the need for Medicaid expansion in Wyoming.

Dave Myers, who’s vice chairman of the Sheridan County Democratic Party and one of the organizers of the rally, said a Medicaid expansion bill has passed out of the Wyoming Senate Labor committee and is now waiting to be introduced on the Senate floor.

Myers said uncompensated care in Wyoming drives up the cost of healthcare in the state.

Myers said the vast majority of the Senate Labor committee favored the bill, but the bill still has a good chance of getting killed on the Senate floor.

He said Medicaid currently in Wyoming is a 50-50 cost share between the state and the federal government. He said the Medicaid expansion bill would vastly increase the number of people covered under Medicaid and, in addition, those increased numbers would be covered at a cost of 90 percent to the federal government and 10 percent to the state.

Also, he said, thanks to the relief just passed by Congress, if a state expands Medicaid coverage at this time, the federal government will provide 55 percent of the cost of coverage for those currently under Medicaid, reducing the state’s share of coverage to 45 percent. He said that 55-45 share would be for at least two years.

Myers said the reduction in healthcare costs for uncompensated care means that a 10 percent cost paid upfront to expand Medicaid would ultimately save the state a lot of money.

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