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[MM Curator Summary]: A good example of the use of Rule #8 from Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals.
SHERIDAN — Three Sheridan County state legislators explained their opposition to Medicaid expansion during a pre-legislative luncheon hosted by Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce Wednesday.
Sen. Dave Kinskey, R-Sheridan; Rep. Cyrus Western, R-Big Horn; and Rep. Ken Penderraft, R-Sheridan; were the three legislators present out of the full Sheridan County delegation. Sheridanite Cathi Kindt asked legislators, “If there were a solid business case for Medicaid expansion, would you support it?”
All three legislators said no, but for varying reasons.
“This thing has been brought up like eight times in the last couple of years,” Pendergraft said. “The answer to your question, ma’am is no. Even if he could show me that it would make Wyoming a great deal of money, I’m opposed. And the reason that I’m opposed is also philosophical. With liberty comes responsibility. If I cede responsibility, I give up some of that liberty, and on that philosophical basis, I would be opposed.”
Pendergraft believes there’s already too much governmental involvement in health care already and believes there should not be more.
Western said he also does not prescribe to Medicaid expansion for philosophical reasons.
“Are people fundamentally entitled, at a constitutional rights level, to free health care?” Western posed. “I understand the the reasoning and the rationale behind it, I really do, to the extent that it makes sense, but everything costs something. And so given how expensive it is, given how much money we’d have in debt. Those are my biggest concerns. It’s not that I can’t appreciate the benefits that it brings.”
Kinskey said other states reported costs well beyond what was budgeted and the federal government not coming through with its promises to help pay for expansion.
“They end up being a budget buster everywhere it’s adopted,” Kinskey said. “…So if we adopted Medicaid expansion and the Feds did not keep their word and they went to spend to paying half like they do on all the other Medicaid, that difference is equal to the maintenance on every school in the state of Wyoming for a year.”
“Budget-wise, I just don’t think that this case can be made (for Medicaid expansion),” Kinskey said.
Four bills are currently listed that address aspects of Medicaid: Medicaid twelve month postpartum coverage; medical treatment opportunity act-Medicaid reform; Medicaid coverage-licensed pharmacists; and podiatry medical services-Medicaid. To read the bills, see wyoleg.gov.
The general session begins Jan. 10 in Cheyenne.