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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

4/6/2014 (7 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Prisoners in U.S. already have their healthcare covered while in jail by state, local taxpayer dollars

Obamacare, to put it simply, has been a disappointment. Many who have signed up have yet to send in their money. Enrollment in health care reform was only seven million until the newly stated goal of ten million was reached - but only AFTER factoring in prison inmates and Medicaid enrollees.

It must be stressed that prisoners in the continental U.S. have always had their health insurance paid while in jail.

It must be stressed that prisoners in the continental U.S. have always had their health insurance paid while in jail.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

4/6/2014 (7 months ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Obamacare, prisoners, enrollees


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The official data has 10 million people who have registered for Obamacare since the October 1 launch of Affordable Care Act.

It must be noted that percentage of those new enrollees includes prisoners in cash-strapped states that have decided to rely on Obamacare for their inmates' health insurance needs.

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The prisoners have been included the same way that a number Medicaid enrollees are. Twenty-six states are in the process of trying to extend medical coverage to single and childless adults who fall into certain categories.

Jail operators in half of those states are trying to do the same for their inmates.

If approved, this would mean that some emergency insurance costs would not only be covered by state while they are in prison but the coverage would extend to after they are released.

It must be stressed that prisoners in the continental U.S. have always had their health insurance paid while in jail. In the past those fees had been covered by state and county funds. A portion of those costs would be covered by the federal government in conjunction with the state and local payments.

Supporters say that the move could help decrease recidivism rates.

"When someone gets discharged from the jail and they don't have insurance and they don't have a plan, we can pretty much set our watch to when we're going see them again," Chicago's Cook County Sheriff's office spokesman Ben Breit told Bloomberg Businessweek.

The White House announced last week that there were 7.1 million sign-ups as of March 31 for private health plans through new electronic insurance marketplaces now operating in all 50 states, a total that exceeded most expectations.

Higher enrollment figures have given a boost to Obama and his Democratic allies against Republicans and other critics of healthcare reform by demonstrating stronger-than-expected demand for the benefits available under the new law.

"The increase in Medicaid enrollments across the country is encouraging," U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a government blog posting last week.

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