Wyoming has always stood out. It’s the state with the first national park and the first national monument. The first state to give women the right to vote. The first state to elect a woman as governor. And, of course, it still has the smallest and least dense population in the country.
But Wyoming quietly leads the country in another category and has done so for years: Medicaid spending. As a percentage of its state budget, Wyoming spends less on Medicaid than any other state — about 14 percent.
Wyoming isn’t leading this category out of cold, heartless thrift. It’s because Wyoming focuses its limited Medicaid dollars on the truly needy — individuals with disabilities, seniors, and kids — rather than able-bodied adults.