ACLU: Prison authorities can save lives and taxpayer funds by helping departing inmates enroll in Medicaid

Access to treatment makes people less likely to return to jail, breaking cycle of illness and incarceration that strains local budgets, group says.
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Mar 1, 2014


The ACLU of Ohio called on the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) to pass rules that help people leaving jail enroll in Ohio’s newly expanded Medicaid program.

“Helping people get the treatment they need to stay out jail for good is a much better investment than incarcerating them over and over again," said ACLU of Ohio Policy Director Shakyra Diaz. “People leave jail uninsured, unemployed, and struggling with substance abuse or mental illness. Without access to quality physical and mental healthcare, many will end up right back behind bars, at taxpayer expense.”

Low-income, childless Ohioans who are younger than 65 and do not have a disability were not eligible for Medicaid in the past. Medicaid expansion in Ohio changed that. Now the federal government will pay 100 percent of the cost for these newly eligible enrollees until 2016, gradually decreasing to 90 percent in 2020 and beyond.

Newly enrolled Ohioans will now find themselves covered for emergency care, mental health care, substance abuse or behavioral health treatment, and chronic disease management.

“We cannot jail our way out of our problems,” said Diaz. “But with better access to the physical and mental healthcare they need, those who leave jail can get healthy, rebuild their lives, and stay out for good. Other states are already working to help this population enroll in Medicaid, because they know it will ultimately save both lives and taxpayer dollars.”

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Or they could just save us money by using the death penalty more-then we wouldn't have to pay for healthcare, food, etc for these scumbags

I Can Read

So you think people with mental illness are scumbags? Really?


If they are responsible for the death of someone-yes, I do. The "insanity/mental illness" card is being used way too much.


Hmmm...become a criminal, and I have to pay for your healthcare, too? Fabulous...

Dr. Information

Putting more people on the government yit. Great idea.

Really are you ...

A repeat offender, ok, oops they slipped. But the three peats, the four peats, and so on. Give me a darn break, these three and four peats are set in their ways. They can not change? It is a double edged sword. Support, depends on how you look at it, a corrupt somewhat incompetent governing body or support the three and four peat offenders. Neither will change.

JMOP's picture

"Without access to quality physical and mental healthcare, many will end up right back behind bars, at taxpayer expense.”

Really? At taxpayers expense? Then who in the heck pays for Medicaid? Oh, yeah...the taxpayers.


Re: "Ohio’s newly expanded Medicaid program."

Assuming of course that the insureds can find healthcare practitioners who can afford to treat them for the ridiculously low reimbursement rates.


Its called the E.R.


Re: "E.R."

lol yea, if they're willing to wait a few hours.


"About 70 percent of all U.S. nursing home days are paid for by Medicaid."

(At a cost of about $80K per yr.)

The 78 million baby boomers are gonna help bankrupt the country.

Gotta LUV that FREE health care!


Guess they'll have to make a Dr. appointment to get that speedy care. Good thing the Governor opted to expand medicaid. Guess we better take another look at those "death panels" to see who is worth treating and who isn't.


Re: "death panels"

Even the liberals favorite economist Paul Krugman agreed that they will be needed:

Raise a glass of Kool-aid to the advent of taxpayer funded "single payer," when ALL healthcare will FREE, FREE, FREE!!!!


That moment when you can't tell if everyone is simply using hyperbole, or they're really dumb enough to believe what they're saying...

JudgeMeNot's picture

So you can now add ex-cons to the list along with prostitutes, drug dealers and people who choose not to work for a living that can now get the fabulous free 0-bamacare.


Hey! What do you mean?

Pimpin', whoring and drug sellin' is hard work! :)

All this means is that they can lead a crap life and still have taxpayer provided healthcare.

Why bother changing 'careers'?

What are the liberals gonna do; take their healthcare away?


I can't speak for whoring and selling drugs. But pimpin ain't easy.


Prett much I can see there is a bunch of inconsiderate ppl on here. If you can not fight drugs with prison. Nor can you fix or save anyone by locking them up. I understand if it is repeat offender send them to prison, but give them treatment also. I think we should learn to be a Lil more helping with our fellow man kind. I think we need to face it we are being blind about the fact herion is everywhere. Instead of prison open ur eyes in try to help save someone. Addicts do have families they are someones kids brother sis n mothers fathers. So next time just think it can be you or someone close to you dont judge God will do that.