Saturday, February 13, 2010

Tea Party-supported measure dies in House

Brianna Jones of WyoDems sends this:

Yesterday, Wyoming House Democrats, voting together, defeated a proposed amendment to the Wyoming state constitution. The measure was a national initiative brought through the far right tea party movement and designed to reject nationwide health care solutions. The proposal failed with a vote of 38 in favor, 19 opposed, and 3 excused. A two-thirds majority or 40 votes are required to introduce a bill during the budget session.

Minority Floor Leader Patrick Goggles of Ethete said, “This is a premature proposal. We haven’t seen any national health plan and this isn’t the right time to take the drastic step of amending our constitution. I don’t think many have looked at the far reaching consequences this could have on Wyoming’s health care system.”

“Wyoming’s health care would be seriously jeopardized by such a constitutional amendment. Wyoming currently receives more than $500 million in annual Medicaid matching funds and other programs such as mental health services, foster care, food stamps, and Head Start would be at risk. At a time with seriously strained budgets we should not further hamper the delivery of care,” said Rep. Cathy Connolly of Laramie.

AARP Wyoming Director Tim Summers argued that this move would remove consumer protections, increase uncompensated care, and harm existing programs.

The proposal was strongly opposed by the Wyoming Hospital Association, Wyoming AFL-CIO, AARP Wyoming, and the Wyoming Health Care Association. These groups assert that this resolution was designed to create litigation and that health care decisions do not belong with the courts, but with the individual.

The legislation was sponsored by Reps. Lubnau, Buchanan, Quarberg, and Simpson and Sen. Bebout.

They are all Republicans.

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