Sending Office: Honorable Robert C. “Bobby” Scott
I urge you to cosponsor H.R 3953, the Supporting Positive Outcomes After Release Act. This bill would require states
to suspend, rather than terminate, an individual’s Medicaid coverage while incarcerated in a public institution. Many states have already opted to suspend rather
than terminate Medicare coverage while individuals are incarcerated, and this bill would ensure that suspension of eligibility is used nationwide.
Medicaid generally does not cover incarcerated people and no federal funds are available to states for medical services delivered to inmates of public institutions. This means states are responsible for inmates’ care. The Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and
the Uninsured States, “Incarcerated individuals are much more likely to have chronic physical and mental health conditions such as HIV/AIDs, serious mental illness, or substance abuse disorder”.[i]
When inmates are released and do not have access to regular care or health insurance, emergency room visits increase. Without access to healthcare
and medications upon release, public health suffers, and the likelihood of recidivism increases. Providing newly released inmates greater access to health insurance and care gives them greater opportuniy to successfully reintegrate back into society and achieve
better long-term outcomes.
If you have any questions, or would like to cosponsor, please contact Christina Ingram (Christina.Ingram@mail.house.gov, or 5-6719).
[i] McKee, Catherine, Somers, Sarah, Artiga, Samantha, and Gates, Alexandra. “State Medicaid Eligibility Policies for Individuals Moving Into and Out of Incarceration” Aug 2015. https://www.kff.org/medicaid/issue-brief/state-medicaid-eligibility-policies-for-individuals-moving-into-and-out-of-incarceration/
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