After two attempts last week, a bill to expand Medicaid died in the Wyoming Legislature. According to the Wyoming Department of Health, such a bill would have provided coverage to 19,000 low-income Wyomingites. And the federal government would have picked up 90% of the tab.
Critics, though, say they want a Wyoming-specific plan. The Casper-Star Tribune has reported on several such detractors. They include, among others, Governor Mark Gordon. But he has yet to provide an alternative path forward.
Meanwhile, across the Mountain West, Wyoming’s resistance to passing Medicaid expansion isolates the state. Notably, two of Wyoming’s conservative neighbors recently passed expansion through ballot measures: Idaho in 2018 and Utah last year. That means Wyoming is now the only Mountain West state still rejecting the measure.
So who is impacted the most?
In a state where women face barriers such as lack of political representation and one of the widest gender wage gaps in the nation, Medicaid expansion has become another roadblock. Jen Simon, founder of the Wyoming Women’s Action Network, told KHOL how women are disproportionately affected.