Mead made the case for the optional expansion during his State of the State address that was held Wednesday before a joint session of the 63rd Wyoming Legislature.
The expansion, which would extend health benefits to about 17,600 low-income residents, is a key part of the federal Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
But what really caught my eye was this comment from Mead:
But in November, Mead said he would support an expansion plan that was developed out of negotiations between the Wyoming Department of Health and the federal government.Did a Republican governor actually admit that one of the key components of Obamacare actually creates jobs? This is a pretty significant admission. After all, Republicans not only believe that government doesn't create jobs, but that a government program like the ACA especially doesn't create jobs, and in fact, destroys them. For a governor of a blood red state like Wyoming to say such a thing is a pretty impressive feat.
Mead told the Legislature that he doesn't care which plan they ultimately select. But he said something is needed to create jobs, to help the state's hospitals with their uncompensated care, and to support the "working men and women who don't have insurance."
Mead further rationalizes position:
"The fact is many of us don't like the ACA, including me," he said. "But here's another fact: Our federal tax dollars help pay for the ACA, and Wyoming tax dollars pay for the ACA.
"Do we choose to have that Wyoming money be returned to Colorado, California or Wyoming? I say Wyoming."
Exactly. As we covered a little while back, the idea of rejecting something like a medicaid expansion would be a remarkably stupid way to sock it to Obama. The residents of Wyoming are paying for Obamacare whether Republicans expand medicaid in their state or not. The only question is whether they want to pay for it and get some actual benefits, like jobs and health care, or pay for it and get nothing in return. Seems to me like a no brainer.
But that's just me.