Wyoming governor: Looming Medicaid cuts will impact care at hospitals

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Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead (R) warns that looming budget cuts could cause other hospitals to suffer a similar fate to Casper-based Wyoming Medical Center, which recently laid off 58 workers, according to a Casper Star-Tribune report.

The warning came during a discussion about an $86.2 million reduction to Wyoming Medicaid funding.

"I think with these cuts, I think that's what you'll see in other areas of the state," Gov. Mead told lawmakers Tuesday, according to the report. "The hospitals will be able to maintain their standard level of care, but they won't be able to do so for as many people."

The governor has proposed reducing the state's contribution to Medicaid by $56.3 million over the next two years to reduce the state budget, according to the report. As a result of the cut, Wyoming Medicaid, which is split between the state and federal government, would lose $29.9 million in federal matching money.

Gov. Mead said the cuts may bolster the case for Medicaid expansion in Wyoming, which has previously rejected the idea, according to the report. With Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government would pick up most of the state's tab.

"I think it's another reason why we should not give up on the Medicaid expansion issue," the governor said, according to the Casper Star-Tribune. "I certainly will be pressing for it hopefully (with) better success."

 

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