Thursday, January 15, 2015

Wyoming diocese damns firing squad bill; Obamacare suddenly critical

Update, 15 January, 06:22 MST: “We know there is no reason to panic."

Wyoming's earth hater governor and legislature are expected to expand Medicaid to 17,600 residents under the Affordable Care Act but they don't want to call it that.
Gov. Matt Mead is on board for Wyoming to expand Medicaid, he said Wednesday at his annual State of the State address to the Legislature. The only problem is his decision came about $100 million too late. That’s the amount the state has thrown away so far by refusing to accept the federal government’s generous offer to pay for 100 percent of the expansion costs for the first three years. That money was lost solely because Mead and the Legislature’s GOP leadership don’t like Obamacare. Mead cited other factors, like businesses attracted to Wyoming because it has quality health care; the 800 new jobs estimated to be created; the financial help it would give hospitals. But poor, sick people? Sorry, they don’t seem to be a priority for his administration. They weren’t even worth mentioning in the governor’s “State of the State.” [WyPols, Medicaid Expansion Is Suddenly Mead’s Priority]
From the Casper Star-Tribune:
But oil prices have dropped. The state could lose about $220 million if prices hover near $55 a barrel in the current budget cycle, under one pricing scenario. On Tuesday, southwest Wyoming sweet crude was trading at $38.64 a barrel. From Democrats, House Minority Leader Mary Throne, D-Cheyenne, had a different message: Lawmakers ought to banish the words “boom” and “bust” from their vocabularies. [Laura Hancock]

How can you make this shit up?
It is likely that the Wyoming State Legislature will be considering two death penalty bills in the upcoming General Session: (a) one, already introduced, seeking to include the firing squad as a method of execution (pdf); and (b) another seeking to abolish the death penalty all together. [Diocese of Cheyenne]
Laura Hancock's story in the Casper Star-Trib linked here.

In more #wyleg news:
Supporters of a Medicaid waiver that would help 3,700 members of tribes on the Wind River Indian Reservation get health care said the key to success is to stop calling it “Medicaid expansion” and to ask [Governor Matt Mead] to weigh in. Tribes are able to ask the feds for a waiver to start demonstration projects to improve Indian health care, but they have to receive official approval from the state to obtain the additional Medicaid dollars. Lawmakers could amend the budget, or they could introduce a separate bill to add the tribal Medicaid funds. [WyPols, Panel Asks Mead to Help Tribes Get Medicaid Funds]
Tribes should administer their own federal funds but red states and Republican attorneys general keep suing to strip their sovereignty by clogging courts, draining tribal resources, budgets and staff.

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