We're not starting at the beginning. We're jumping straight in and hope that you have the time and energy to jump with us. There is a lot happening and A LOT to be done. Get ready, get reading, and then get going.
We'll start here: Medicaid Expansion.
Medicaid expansion has NOT ONE BUT TWO chances to advance in the Wyoming Legislature next week and we need your help. Let's get into how you can help. (We know you already know why you should help!)
Congress is offering Wyoming $120 million to update its Medicaid program and extend insurance coverage to 25,000 low-income adults.
The Wyoming Department of Health estimates that 25,000 residents would gain insurance coverage if we expand our Medicaid program.
The people who would qualify for coverage are mostly low-income workers—for instance, a single parent earning a low wage. The largest group of enrollees is projected to be working women under 30.
Roughly 6,000 people in Wyoming have lost their job-based insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Expanding Medicaid would drive down uncompensated care costs at our hospitals and rural clinics, create healthcare jobs, decrease premiums in the state, and help create a healthier Wyoming.
Congress just passed a COVID-19 relief package that includes additional funding for states that update their Medicaid programs. Wyoming would become eligible to receive enough federal funds to extend Medicaid coverage to low-income residents without any additional spending by the state.
There is no longer a financial argument against updating our Medicaid program. The $120 million Wyoming would receive in relief funding would cover the state’s portion of the 90-10 cost split (roughly $10 million annually) for more than a decade.
States that have already updated their Medicaid programs have seen economic improvements.
The relief funding would dramatically help during our budget crisis.
Why it matters for women
Of all types of health insurance, research shows Medicaid is the most successful in reducing poverty rates, especially for women.
Wyoming Department of Health estimates the majority of enrollees will be working women under 30. And women will comprise roughly 2x the number of men.
Let Bekah Smith and the Wyoming Women's Foundation tell you that again! Expanding Medicaid benefits all Wyomingites--especially women.
Or read these awesome studies for yourself:
In the states that have not expanded Medicaid coverage under the ACA, many women lose their Medicaid eligibly 60 days post-partum because they no longer qualify for coverage, even though their infants are Medicaid eligible for their first year.
Timely postpartum care is associated with lower maternal morbidity and mortality, yet fewer than half of Medicaid beneficiaries attend a postpartum visit. Medicaid enrollees are at higher risk of postpartum disruptions in insurance because pregnancy-related Medicaid eligibility ends sixty days after delivery.
Medicaid financed 43% of all births nationwide in 2018, but pregnancy-related Medicaid coverage ends 60 days after childbirth. Postpartum health coverage is particularly important because life-threatening conditions during and after pregnancy are distressingly common in the United States.
Want more information? Want to join with thousands of other Wyomingites working on expanding Medicaid? Visit HealthyWyoming.org!
Here's how you can help!
Tell your local Senator to vote "YES" on Senate File 154, "Medicaid expansion with federal match requirements," to improve Wyoming's health, our healthcare system, and our economy.
Tell members of the House Labor, Health & Social Services Committee to vote 'YES" on House Bill 162, "Medical treatment opportunity act," when it comes in front of the committee on Wednesday morning.
Here are the members of H LHSS to focus on:
Chairman Sue Wilson Sue.Wilson@wyoleg.gov
Rep. Jamie Flitner Jamie.Flitner@wyoleg.gov
Rep. Tim Hallinan Tim.Hallinan@wyoleg.gov
Extra Credit Ask 3 people you know around the state to join you in this effort by contacting their own Senator and Representative!