Congress is offering Wyoming $120 million to update its Medicaid program and extend insurance coverage to 25,000 low-income adults.
BEFORE MONDAY 3/22/2021:
Tell your Wyoming Senator to vote “YES” on Senate File 154, “Medicaid expansion with federal match requirements” to improve Wyoming’s health, our healthcare system, and our economy.
Tell your Wyoming Representative to vote “YES” on House Bill 162, “Medical treatment opportunity act” – a second Medicaid expansion bill before the Legislature.
The two bills would, in effect, do the same thing. The best chance of getting a Medicaid Expansion bill this session is to keep pushing on both of them.
HELPFUL TIPS FROM “BETTER WYOMING” FOR WRITING YOUR WYOMING SENATOR AND REPRESENTATIVE
YOUR MESSAGE SHOULD HAVE THREE SHORT PARTS:
1. Say who you are.
This message is going to your local state senator, who is responsible for representing you. Make sure to tell them that you’re a voter in their district.
My name is ____. I live in _____ and I’m a voter in your district.
2. Say what you want.
I’m writing today to ask you to vote “Yes” on Senate File 154 to update Wyoming’s Medicaid program and extend coverage to low-income adults.
I’m writing to ask you to support affordable healthcare access for tens of thousands of Wyoming residents by voting “yes” on Senate File 154.
3. Say why you want it.[This is where you can add a sentence or two about why updating Medicaid and healthcare access in general is important to you. See talking points below.]
Keep it brief: Lawmakers are extremely busy during the legislative session. If you write them a novel, they’re not going to read it.
Change the message subject: This will let them know your email is not spam.
Ask for a reply: Legislators might not reply to your message, even if they read it. Asking for a response makes it more likely you’ll hear back. Knowing how lawmakers are positioned on the issue helps us plan our strategy as a movement.
Maybe mention a few of these things in your message.
- The Wyoming Legislature has done basically nothing to help people access care or to drive down healthcare costs. Meanwhile, people are suffering and dying because they can’t afford treatment. Watch this video: Surviving cancer in Wyoming (without insurance)
- Folks are increasingly seeing that other states have already updated their Medicaid programs, and realizing that the Wyoming Legislature is effectively blocking thousands of people from having insurance.
- The Wyoming Department of Health estimates that 25,000 residents would gain insurance coverage if we update our Medicaid program.
- The people who would qualify for coverage are mostly low-income workers—for instance, a single parent making $12 an hour.
- Roughly 6,000 people in Wyoming have lost their job-based insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Congress just passed a COVID-19 relief package that includes additional funding for states that update their Medicaid programs. Wyoming would become eligible to receive enough federal funds to extend Medicaid coverage to low-income residents without any additional spending by the state.
- There is no longer a financial argument against updating our Medicaid program. The $120 million Wyoming would receive in relief funding would cover the state’s portion of the 90-10 cost split (roughly $10 million annually) for more than a decade.
- States that have already updated their Medicaid programs have seen economic improvements.
- The relief funding would dramatically help during our budget crisis
- Extending Medicaid to low-income residents would drive down uncompensated care costs at our hospitals and rural clinics, create healthcare jobs, decrease premiums in the state, and help create a healthier Wyoming.
NO MORE EXCUSES. PEOPLE ARE SUFFERING AND DYING.
IT’S TIME TO UPDATE WYOMING’S OUTDATED MEDICAID SYSTEM