Wyoming Liberty Group
Supporters of Medicaid Expansion, including Governor Matt Mead, express an unwavering belief that the federal government will actually fund this entitlement as promised. Yet Washington’s promises often become unfunded mandates. Even before the end of this year it is likely that Congress will cut federal funding for Medicaid Expansion and leave states holding the bag.
Obamacare’s supporters seem to believe that if you give patients insurance, doctors will treat them. But greater access to health insurance doesn’t mean greater access to healthcare. As patients scour Obamacare’s insurance exchange for coverage, they’re finding fewer doctors accepting Obamacare’s insurance as payment. And those that can are spending less time with patients, possibly compromising their care.
Since Obamacare took effect in 2013, the cost of health insurance has exploded. Turns out it’s very costly for the insurers themselves and some are paying the ultimate price.
In early October, one of those insurers, WINhealth, announced it faced severe financial challenges and was leaving the Obamacare exchange. Just 11 days later, the company declared bankruptcy, leaving 13,000 Wyoming customers uninsured.
In a moment of bipartisan wisdom, the Labor, Health, and Social Services Committee sponsored legislation allowing out-of-state nurses to practice in Wyoming. Like many states, Wyoming bars nurses not licensed by our nursing board to practice here. The status quo restricts the supply of nurses, preventing patients from accessing thousands of qualified nurses, not to mention raising healthcare costs. The committee’s members took a decisive step towards expanding healthcare access in the state of Wyoming.
With just a few weeks until open enrollment, WINhealth has decided to leave Wyoming’s health insurance exchange. The insurer hoped that Obamacare’s federal bailout fund would pay for its losses. However, it only paid insurers a fraction of what it promised. Wyoming legislators rejected Medicaid expansion last year because they worried the federal government would renege on its promises and here is a prime example. Insurers have found out the hard way the federal government can’t be trusted. Let’s hope it is a lesson learned by legislators still pushing for Medicaid expansion.
No single provision of Obamacare has been more disastrous than Medicaid Expansion. It’s cost taxpayers billions more than promised and hurt the very people it was intended to help. Now Governor Mead wants to try yet again to expand this ruinous government program in Wyoming.
Following an event at an oil recovery facility in Riverton, Mead commented:
“I think it’s appropriate for members of [the Joint Appropriations Committee] and the Legislature, as a whole, to take a look at [Medicaid Expansion] and see if we want to again forgo that money during these tough budget times.”