Wyoming Liberty Group
In what can only be seen as a very strange case in Cody, WY, a small group of parents and public school teachers have sent out a letter to the local elected school board demanding their fellow citizens be denied the right to participate in a proposed public hearing.
The entire episode centers on a decision soon to be made by the school board to purchase a number of reading curriculums for grades K-7 at a cost of around $200,000 to the district taxpayers.
Last week I wrote about why state lawmakers should enact real school choice measures in Wyoming sooner than later.
While I included in my blog all of the many studies seen in the school choice movement over the past decade that show real educational successes when parents are given choices for their children’s education, my main conclusion was this:
“…the reality of why school choice is needed is simple; public education continues to plot a failing course towards complete government centralization from the top down, and complete learning uniformity nationwide. This course is out of step with what parents want and what is best for children — and with what is best for America.”
On the day before April Fool’s Day, Armstrong v. Exceptional Child Center buried any illusion that Medicaid Expansion will improve access to health care. In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court barred doctors, dentists and pharmacists from suing states for allegedly curtailing reimbursements for care they provide to Medicaid patients. Although the ruling doesn’t directly impact Medicaid’s promise to provide quality care for the poor, fulfilling that promise requires a wide and accessible network of physicians. By this metric, Medicaid hasn’t fulfilled its pledge for years and the Supreme Court just made it official.
In March, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in King v. Burwell, a case that could decide the fate of Obamacare in Wyoming and around the country. The case centers on whether the federal government has the authority to issue tax credits to subsidize insurance on exchanges that it has established. If the chief justices rule against the federal government, it could mean the end not just for Obamacare’s subsidies, but its mandates and regulations as well. And herein lies an opportunity for advocates for patient-centered health reform to start making real changes to the way healthcare is financed and delivered.
“We need to look like we are doing something for that community.”
Wyoming Sen. Wasserberger, Joint Appropriations Committee, January 26, 2015
Facing declining mineral tax revenues, the desire to continue spending and the inability, so far, to raid the rainy day fund, Gov. Mead’s push to diversify the economy to create jobs and generate more tax revenue shifted into overdrive. His direction? The governor made yet another announcement about an investment by his chosen one – Microsoft’s data center. Yes, Microsoft is investing more in the state, but in exchange, the governor is doling out more corporate welfare. Corporate welfare is a costly way to appear to be doing something to diversify the economy to create jobs and increase tax revenue.
With just two weeks remaining in the legislative session, the forces of socialized medicine were defeated, at least for now. After losing decisively in the Wyoming Senate and finding no traction in the Wyoming House, Medicaid Expansion supporters tried to ram this policy through with an amendment to the budget bill. Amendment 31 of HB0001 failed overwhelmingly, with 41 Nays and only 15 Ayes. Supporters cited the jobs it would create as well as increased federal funding for the state of Wyoming.