CHEYENNE — Wyoming Democrats are trying to turn up the heat on Gov. Matt Mead and other Republicans over their opposition to expanding Medicaid to cover 17,600 low-income adults in the state.

State Democratic Party Chairman Pete Gosar and others held a telephone press conference Friday to announce they're pushing to raise public awareness of the issue. They accused Republicans of allowing their political opposition to President Barack Obama's signature health care reform law to deprive thousands of working people of health care coverage they desperately need.

Gosar said Republicans have had three years to come up with an alternative to the Affordable Care Act but have failed to do so. In his budget message to the legislature, Governor Matt Mead recommended that lawmakers reject the optional Medicaid expansion available under the Affordable Care Act.

Mead during a press conference Friday said he believes Democrats have a valid criticism when they say he and other Republicans need to propose an alternative to Medicaid expansion if they're going to oppose it. But he pointed out that the Obama administration has been forced to postpone elements of the Affordable Care Act and has had problems with the Internet site established to allow people to shop for approved health insurance.