- Feds OK Medicaid privatization, with another delay, By Tony Leys and Jason Clayworth, February 23, 2016, Des Moines Register: “Gov. Terry Branstad gained federal approval Tuesday for his controversial plan to turn Medicaid over to private managers, but not until April 1. Branstad originally planned to make the massive shift on Jan. 1. Federal administrators determined in December that Iowa was not ready to turn the 560,000 poor or disabled people who use the program over to three private management companies. They ordered the state to wait until at least March 1…”
- New twists as Maine lawmakers again consider Medicaid expansion, By Joe Lawler, Feburary 23, 2016, Portland Press Herald: “Sen. Tom Saviello’s Medicaid expansion bill received a chilly reception from his fellow Republicans and the LePage administration Tuesday. The Wilton lawmaker received support from Democrats, however, and remained undeterred…”
- Bill would block Medicaid expansion for another two years, By Laura Hancock, February 23, 2016, Casper Star-Tribune: “The state Legislature, which recently defeated Medicaid expansion, is debating a bill that would create a two-year state study of health coverage for low-income Wyomingites – a measure critics call a delay tactic for helping the poor and the hospitals who serve them. But Sen. Charlie Scott, one of the sponsors of Senate File 86, said the measure is a compromise to Medicaid expansion, since the Legislature appears unwilling to extend the federal program to 20,000 low-income Wyoming adults under the Affordable Care Act.
Casper officials tout early successes of year-old Housing First program, By Tom Dixon, March 10, 2015, Casper Star-Tribune: “Samantha Ludvigson often leaves food outside her house for people who live on the streets. Last fall, she cooked Thanksgiving dinner and invited homeless people to her Casper residence to eat. Ludvigson does what she can for them because she knows what it’s like. Until a year ago, she was homeless, too. Ludvigson was the first person selected for a pilot program started by Casper Housing Authority in March 2014. It’s called Housing First, and the idea is to shelter people before tackling the underlying issues that lead to homelessness, such as substance abuse and mental illness. Proponents say the program will help reduce a growing problem in Casper and save taxpayer money…”
Too much, too young? One in three Wyoming foster care children prescribed psychotropic drugs, By Leah Todd, August 10, 2014, Casper Star-Tribune: “For Cameron O’Malley, weekends at his sister’s house meant tucking a pair of jeans, a few shirts and his toothbrush into his backpack. The 15-year-old’s foster mom would zip a weekend’s worth of pills the size of jelly beans into plastic baggies. Cameron and his sister Carissa, 22, knew the routine: Take daily with food. Carissa didn’t like the medications, prescribed for a list of conditions she was not convinced Cameron even had: Prozac for his hyperactive attention disorder. Fluoxetine for depression. Straterra for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Wellbutrin for depression. They made Cameron’s brain feel weird, like he was thinking in fog. But if the adoption was to go through, he and his sister had to follow the rules. Nearly one in three foster children in Wyoming is prescribed psychotropic medications like the ones Cameron took. That’s more than four times the rate found in other low-income children not living in foster care, where the frequency is one in 12…”