Friday, January 16, 2015

Republican governor who once sued to overturn ACA is now an advocate for Medicaid expansion

Since Republicans gained control of Congress in November, Republican governors from Tennessee, Utah and Wyoming who previously refused Medicaid expansion in their states as part of federal health reform have come out in support of the Affordable Care Act, maybe none as adamant as Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead, who hails from the state with the nation's smallest population but has quickly become a national voice in favor of expansion. Expansion in Wyoming would extend benefits to 17,600 low-income residents.

During his State of the State address on Wednesday Mead told lawmakers that Wyoming can no longer afford to wait to pass a Medicaid expansion bill, Trevor Brown reports for the Wyoming Tribune Eagle. Mead said, "We have fought the fight against the (Affordable Care Act). We've done our best to find a fit for Wyoming. We are out of timeouts, and we need to address Medicaid expansion this session."

Mead, who was once part of a lawsuit to overturn Obamacare, said in November that he would "support an expansion plan that was developed out of negotiations between the Wyoming Department of Health and the federal government," Brown writes. Mead said during his address, "The fact is many of us don't like the ACA, including me. But here's another fact: Our federal tax dollars help pay for the ACA, and Wyoming tax dollars pay for the ACA. Do we choose to have that Wyoming money be returned to Colorado, California or Wyoming? I say Wyoming." (Read more)

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