Obamacare: Insurance for Inmates?


Even as the country prepares for the launch of Obamacare’s new entitlements tomorrow, research from the non-profit Center for Health Care Strategies reveals that millions of inmates could receive health insurance under the new entitlements.

Slide 10 of the presentation, which discusses the impact of the Medicaid expansion on the criminal justice population, notes that “Medicaid can pay for inpatient treatment for inmates/detainees who would otherwise be eligible for Medicaid.” Slide 14 cites Bureau of Justice Statistics data to demonstrate that there were 11.6 million admissions to local jails during a recent 12-month period, and that “approximately 60 percent of jail inmates had pre-arrest personal income” that would allow them to qualify for Medicaid under Obamacare.

Slide 15 explains what it all means:


As the slide deck notes, whether inmates qualify for Medicaid depends on whether states expand their Medicaid programs—and whether they receive Medicaid treatment while incarcerated depends upon whether state programs allow for Medicaid coverage of inmates. But the facts are clear—as many as 6 million to 7 million inmates could qualify for Medicaid after their incarceration, and some of these could qualify for Medicaid while serving as inmates. And if “jail inmates could represent 30% of the 2014 Medicaid expansion,” as the presentation alleges, that would represent a significant chunk of the $710 billion in spending on Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion over the next decade.

Source material can be found at this site.

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