Alaska: Legislature to Challenge Medicaid Expansion

The Alaska Legislature signed a $450,000 contract with a team of lawyers to challenge Governor Bill Walker's (I) Medicaid expansion plan, having failed in its earlier attempt to secure an injunction before enrollment began on September 1. The Republican-dominated Legislative Council voted 11-1 along party lines to advance the suit. The House Minority Leader, citing the high price tag and unlikelihood of a win, was joined by the Senate Democratic Caucus and the House’s Independent Democratic Caucus in voicing opposition to the lawsuit.

Wyoming: More Than Half of Hospital Reimbursement Fund Spent Since July

Since the Legislature opposed Governor Matt Mead’s (R) call for Medicaid expansion, Wyoming has paid out $1.3 million of a $2 million million hospital reimbursement fund for uncompensated care established in July as an alternative to expansion. Governor Mead allowed the bill to take effect without his signature. Wyoming hospitals may apply to the State’s Health Department for reimbursements from the fund through June 2016. State Senator Charles Scott (R), the Chair of the Senate Labor, Health, and Social Services Committee, said he does not expect the Legislature to continue the funding efforts or expand Medicaid. Wyoming hospitals provided $21 million in charity care in 2013.