The Wyoming Senate has shot down a last-ditch effort to expand the federal Medicaid program in the state despite assurances from the sponsor that it would offer health care coverage to thousands of residents while saving the state millions.
The Senate voted 21-to-9 Friday against a budget amendment sponsored by Laramie Senator Chris Rothfuss, a Democrat, to expand Medicaid coverage to 17,600 people. He said it would save the state $80 million over four years and capture another $400 million in federal funds.
Republican Sen. Charles Scott of Casper is chairman of the Senate Health, Labor and Social Services Committee. He spoke against the amendment, saying Medicaid encourages unnecessary medical treatment.
Scott refused to allow his committee to vote on a separate Rothfuss bill to expand Medicaid earlier this week.
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