Another Defeat for Medicaid Expansion

Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act was dealt 2 swift blows in Republican-led states this week, first in Tennessee and again just a day later in Wyoming.

Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was dealt 2 swift blows in Republican-led states this week, first in Tennessee and again just a day later in Wyoming.

Wyoming Gov Matt Mead unveiled his Medicaid expansion plan, an alternative approach negotiated with federal officials, in November. However, the Wyoming Senate, made up of 26 Republicans and 4 Democrats, defeated the plan Friday afternoon.

“While I respect different views, the fact is today we are left with working poor without coverage,” Gov Mead said in a statement.

His plan, the SHARE plan, required Medicaid enrollees to make small co-payments with those above the poverty line making monthly premiums.

After the Senate defeated the plan, the House pulled its own proposal because it viewed sending the bill through as “an exercise in futility,” Republican Rep. Elaine Harvey told POLITICO.

“Today is a great day for taxpayers, patients and the truly needy of Wyoming,” said Tarren Bragdon, chief executive officer of the Foundation for Government Accountability. “We are so excited to see another legislature stand up to another Republican governor in their effort to protect their people from the disaster that is Obamacare.”

Opponents to the Medicaid expansion plan were concerned about implementing the plan as well as adding to the federal debt with increased healthcare spending, according to Reuters. Furthermore, many Republicans campaigned on promises of not expanding Medicaid Services.

Gov Mead had also been against expansion originally, but he changed his mind because expanding the services could help 17,000 low-income residents. He said the SHARE plan could have solved the problem of $200 million in uncompensated care facing hospitals.

“Wyoming has fought against the ACA and we lost,” Gov Mead said. “The ACA remains the law. I look forward to the Legislature finding a meaningful way to operate within the ACA to address Wyoming’s health care needs.”