The 2023 Wyoming Legislative Session will kick off on Jan. 10, and American Heart Association is excited about this session’s priorities.
Once again, we will be advocating for Medicaid Expansion to help more than 24,000 people in Wyoming who fall in a healthcare gap, either working for an employer who doesn’t provide health care insurance or not making enough to afford it.
Expanding Medicaid would benefit more than just individuals. It would keep our small rural hospitals working, keeps health care workers doing what they do best, and ensures our state’s health care costs won’t drain Wyoming’s general fund. Last month, the Joint Revenue Committee voted 9-5 to move forward with the Medical Treatment Opportunity Act, which would expand Medicaid services to all those defined as eligible under the Social Securities Act. Read more about that here.
We’ll also advocate for telecommunicator-CPR or T-CPR. Every day people call 9-1-1 because someone may be having a cardiac emergency. Annually, Wyoming EMS responds to approximately 1,100 cardiac arrest emergencies. T-CPR would ensure emergency dispatchers are able to coach a caller through life-saving CPR until emergency responders arrive.
Additionally, we want to ensure all individuals whose pregnancies are covered by Medicaid can keep their Medicaid coverage for at least one year postpartum. Extending coverage for new mothers from 60 days to 12 months makes sure new moms are taking care of their heart health as heart disease is the No. 1 killer of new moms.
Growing evidence suggests pregnancy complications are a marker of future health risk, particularly heart disease and stroke, which develops earlier and at higher rates among communities of color. Extending health care coverage for a full year will help individuals receive the medical care they need to be screened for the development of risk factors like high blood pressure and receive adequate counseling for heart disease and stroke prevention, postpartum depression, substance use, and more.
We’re also excited to participate in a rally in support of Medicaid Expansion. RSVP to join us!