Medicaid expansion advances in Wyoming but time running out

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A state legislative committee has advanced a proposal to cover more people in Wyoming under the federal Medicaid program but time for the measure is running out.

The House Revenue Committee voted 5-3 Thursday to send the proposal to the full Wyoming House. A similar measure has been awaiting a vote on the Senate floor.

Monday is the deadline for the two bills to receive an initial vote in their chamber of origin or they won’t be considered further this year.

Twelve states including Wyoming have declined to extend Medicaid coverage over the past decade through the Affordable Care Act, the Wyoming Tribune Eagle reported.

Under federal law, the U.S. government covers 90% of the costs while states pick up the remaining 10%. In Wyoming, the proposals would expand health coverage to 24,000 people in the first two years, according to the Wyoming Department of Health.

Rep. John Romero-Martinez, R-Cheyenne, told the House committee his own struggles as an uninsured person led him to sponsor the bill.

A recently approved $2 trillion federal coronavirus relief package includes a new financial incentive for states that haven’t expanded Medicaid. Opponents have voiced concern the federal government could eventually leave Wyoming responsible for the added costs of expansion.

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The Associated Press

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