Wyoming Capitol

The state Capitol building is seen Aug. 15, 2019, in downtown Cheyenne. Governor Gordon signed SEA44 into law on Monday, an amendment expanding the legal definition of stalking to include electronic means, joining eight other states across the country that have put in place similar legislation.

CHEYENNE — Lawmakers in the House failed to introduce a bill on the floor by Friday’s deadline that would have expanded Medicaid coverage for Wyoming residents. But that doesn’t mean the issue is dead for this session.

House Bill 20, “Medical Treatment Opportunity Act,” would have needed 40 votes in the House to be introduced on the floor.

The legislation was sponsored by the Joint Revenue Interim Committee. Rep. Steve Harshman, R-Casper, who serves as the co-chairman of the Joint Revenue Interim Committee, told the Wyoming Tribune Eagle on Friday that the two-thirds vote to get the measure off the table for consideration during a budget session was simply not there.

“It is hard to get two-thirds of any body to agree,” Harshman said. “I just don’t think we have a supermajority.”

Wyoming is one of 12 states that have failed to expand Medicaid coverage to its citizens following the federal Affordable Care Act’s provision that allows for coverage for nearly all adults with incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty level, or $17,774 for an individual in 2021, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Every state bordering Wyoming, with the exception of South Dakota, has expanded Medicaid. And in November, South Dakota voters will vote on a ballot measure to expand Medicaid eligibility to its citizens.

Although the bill to expand Medicaid in Wyoming was not introduced on the House floor Friday, Sen. Cale Case, R-Lander, said he intends to bring a budget amendment to the Senate this week to add Medicaid expansion to the 2023-24 biennium budget.

Case said delaying Medicaid expansion for another year would be a “travesty.”

“These are working people without insurance,” he said. “It will be cheaper for everybody in the long run to get medical care, and it will be better for families and employers.”

Harshman said he’s unsure whether a budget amendment will come forward in the House.

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