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Thursday, June 1, 2023

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WI working family advocates shine a spotlight on Reps' voting records; a new report says that Phoenix area can't meet groundwater demands; Nevada sporting community sends top 10 priorities to Gov. Lombardo's desk.

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The Senate aims to get the debt limit spending bill to President Biden's desk quickly, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis makes a campaign stop in Iowa, and a new survey finds most straight adults support LGBTQ+ rights.

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Oregon may expand food stamp eligibility to some undocumented households, rural areas have a new method of accessing money for roads and bridges, and Tennessee's new online tool helps keep track of cemetery locations.

Feds OK CA Plan to Pre-Enroll Incarcerated People in Medi-Cal

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Tuesday, March 14, 2023   

California will soon become the first state in the nation to offer health insurance to income-eligible individuals who are incarcerated - starting 90 days prior to their release. The feds just agreed to match funds spent on Medi-Cal or CHIP for people leaving jail, prison or juvenile correctional facilities.

Hagar Dickman, senior attorney at the nonprofit Justice in Aging, said it is in everyone's interest to set justice-involved people up for success.

"The idea is to ensure that people are connected with services prior to their release, and individuals with mental-health needs and substance-abuse disorder also can have their medication given to them prior to the release," Dickman said.

Previously the feds would only reimburse the state's Medi-Cal expenses for people upon their release. In addition, the state passed a law last fall put people's Medi-Cal into suspension instead of terminating it while incarcerated. Now their status will be reactivated without them having to reapply.

This is not just a health initiative, it's an equity initiative - since a disproportionate number of people of color face incarceration, Dickman said. And it puts people on stronger footing as they re-enter society.

"This is really an important way to combat the significant effects of mental illness, mental health issues, and substance abuse in the jails particularly in light of both high rates of homelessness and also suicide and overdose as people are released," she said.

The move is part of the larger project called Cal AIM
which will modernize Medi-Cal - and allow it to cover things like housing supports, since secure housing is considered a social determinant of health.

Disclosure: Justice in Aging contributes to our fund for reporting on Civil Rights, Health Issues, Senior Issues, Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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