March and Rally In Cheyenne For Disability Waiver Funding
Wyoming residents from around the state gathered in Cheyenne Thursday, marching to the Capitol Building to protest changes to Wyoming's Disability waiver program, The event was sponsored by Wyoming Parents Empowering Parents in response to a law passed by the legislature last winter that called for a redesign of developmental disabilities programs within the existing budget slated for these programs. Rally participants believe the new program will mean a cut in services for those already on the waiver.
State health officials say the Medicaid Home and Community Based Waiver program serves about 2,300 individuals with an annual budget of $103 million. There are nearly 600 people on waiting lists for the current programs. One of the goals under the new law for the redesign effort is to find savings that can be directed toward reducing the existing waiting list.
Rep. Lee Filer (D-CHY) says he believes the waiver program should have its own funding source. Filer, a member of the Joint Interim Labor, Health and Social Services Committee says he's working on a bill to bring to next year's budget session to address the funding issue.