A bill to expand the federal Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act has been filed for the 2023 Wyoming Legislative Session.

You can read House Bill 80, the Medical Treatment Opportunity Act, here. Roughly 100 or so supporters of the legislation held a rally in front of the capitol on Tuesday [above photo].

The legislation is sponsored by the Interim Joint Revenue Committee.

Medicaid expansion has been a contentious issue in the legislature for many years. Supporters argue that the expansion is needed to give the working poor in the state health insurance coverage and say Wyoming is already paying into the program and might as well get as much out of it as possible.

But opponents say expansion would cost much more than projected and that the federal government can't be trusted to continue picking up most of the tab for expansion, regardless of what promises are made.

Some opponents have also argued that the expansion violates the original purpose of the Medicaid program. In regard to the federal obligation to help pay for the program, House Bill 80 includes the following provision:

Any expansion of the Medicaid program under this section shall not be administered during any time period in which the increased federal medical assistance percentage, as currently provided under 42 U.S.C. § 1396d(y), is less than ninety percent (90%), nor shall the eligibility expansion program be administered during any time period in which the regular federal medical assistance percentage under 42 U.S.C. § 1396d(b) is less than fifty‑five percent (55%).

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