February 6, 2015
CHEYENNE, Wyo. I believe that Wyomings working poor need health care coverage. Over the last year, in response to the Legislatures direction, the Department of Health working with HHS and CMS crafted a Wyoming plan to provide that coverage on Wyoming terms, and I believe the plan (the SHARE Plan) has merit.
Many members in the House and Senate have also worked to create a Wyoming plan to leverage approximately $120 million in federal funds that would be spent in our state. I thank them for their commitment to our working poor and our rural hospitals.
I was also interested in the proposal developed by House members Eric Barlow and Sue Wilson. I was hopeful that the full House of Representatives would at least have the opportunity to debate the issue.
We must continue to tackle the tough issues around health care access, costs and insurance. We must recognize what health care means to individuals and to our economy. While I respect different views, the fact is today we are left with working poor without coverage. We are left with Wyoming taxpayer dollars funding health care of other states. We are left without a solution for $200 million of uncompensated care that our hospitals must absorb and pass on to the rest of our citizens and we are rejecting $120 million dollars meant for Wyoming.
Wyoming has fought against the ACA and we lost. The ACA remains the law. I look forward to the Legislature finding a meaningful way to operate within the ACA to address Wyomings health care needs.