Welp, we managed to make it through Week 1 of the Budget Session. Wasn't pretty, but here we are. Friday night.
HB0020 Medical treatment opportunity act stayed in the drawer. In the end, the former Speaker couldn't whip the votes to get to 40.
As we always say, "One must imagine Sisyphus happy." Which is why we'll get up tomorrow and go back to work. Plan B starts Monday. Join the Healthy Wyoming coalition and help move the work forward!
Plan C also starts Monday!
Plan C is all about getting an extension of the postpartum benefit from 60 days to 12 months. Our team has been working behind the scenes to try to put some of the pieces in place to make sure that all pregnant people and their babies have the best possible chance at good health and long lives.
There is still a lot to do, but here is (a lot of) background information about why it matters from our colleagues at the Center for Children and Families at Georgetown:
This toolkit for advocates is the best place to start: https://www.equitablemhc.org/ppmedicaidtoolkits These two studies show how many people likely lose coverage postpartum in Wyoming, and one disaggregates by race/ethnicity and Medicaid expansion status. Indigenous/American Indian women have some of the highest uninsured rates postpartum.
Two other resources that help make the case are:
This study from Massachusetts, which shows that women with opioid use disorder were most likely to relapse in the 7-12 months postpartum period.
And Georgia advocates put together a compelling fact sheet on postpartum coverage and its importance in a non-expansion state
There are *so many* reasons to be talking about how we make pregnancy and postpartum safer for women and babies. Which takes us to Monday when we'll see at least one bill that touches on the subject hit committee for discussion.
Here's what we're expecting Monday:
Senate Labor Health 8am SF0089 Child protection-dangerous drugs. OPPOSE
Senate Education 8am SF0051 Fairness in women's sports act. OPPOSE
Senate Judiciary 8am SF0100 Stalking amendments. (if time allows) SUPPORT
HB0009 Economic development programs-tribal inclusion. SUPPORT
HB0029 Hathaway scholarship amendments. SUPPORT
And, next week, the budget will start moving in both chambers. You know we believe that the budget is a moral document that reflects our values. What we spend our money on is what we deem most important. So we'll be sharing some thoughts on what to look for and how to track the budget debates.
Oh! One last thing: Don't sleep on the redistricting map! This is what we'll have to live with for the next 10 years. Right now, multi-member districts seem to be a distant memory. But, you never know. Maybe we can bring them back into the conversation. They're so important for women!