Governor Mead Pushes for Medicaid Expansion
Wyoming Governor Matt Mead says he'll continue to push for Medicaid expansion.
Mead outlined his budget recommendations for the next two years on Tuesday.
"We are proposing in our budget a consideration of Medicaid expansion," said Mead. "We think that we can fund that which is needed in the Department of Health and reduce their standard budget by almost $10 million with Medicaid expansion. If we do not expand Medicaid, we will have to expend likely from the general fund about $23 million and that difference is roughly $34 million."
Mead says while the arguments for or against Medicaid expansion remain the same, the state's financial picture has changed.
"We're in a different budget situation now," said Mead. "So if you don't want to fund Medicaid expansion, you don't want to have the influx of those dollars into our state, you want to send Wyoming taxpayer dollars to another state, then you need to find $34 million and that's not easy to do in this slump."
Mead says, like it or not, lawmakers need to accept the fact that the state challenged the Affordable Care Act and lost.
"It's the law of the land," said Mead. "How much are we gonna just stomp and say we don't like it as we send money to other states when we're short on revenue?"
Lawmakers will take up the issue when they convene in February.