Why Does the Government Want Felons to Get Medicaid?
Why the concern for ex-cons? Because many suffer from ill health due to their long periods of incarceration. Offering health care can assist them in regaining their well-being and thus being fully employable again. The unfortunate alternative, as some felons see it, is a return to criminal activities. Thus it behooves the government and society itself to help those in need, until they regain their own footing. There’s no shame in needing a boost, and the federal government provides that for a reason.
The obvious fact is that a healthy person has a better chance of employment than a sick one. An uninsured person is more likely to remain sick than an insured one. And an unemployed person is more likely to risk an illegal endeavor to gain some income. So medical coverage for ex-cons makes sense…especially if those persons were drug addicts or suffered from mental illness. In those particular cases, medical treatment is all the more vital. The easier it is for them to get help, the greater their chances of staying out of prison.
Another factor researchers pointed out–prisons are breeding grounds for disease. So what happens when prisoners who’ve been exposed to higher-than-average rates of infectious diseases such as hepatitis C, HIV and tuberculosis are released? You guessed it; those released prisoners are now potentially exposing others on the outside. So it is common sense to get those ex-prisoners examined and treated, for the health of their new neighbors!
Studies have noted a “disproportionately high” rate of imprisonment for minority individuals, as well as higher rates of certain diseases within their respective communities. Is there are correlation? Do persons from these groups get locked up, get sick, then bring disease back to their former neighborhoods in higher-than-average rates? Unfortunately, it is a real possibility and it’s something that’s being studied in order correct this potentially systemic issue.
In the meantime, in an effort to minimize very costly trips to emergency rooms around the nation, Medicaid’s approach is to offer insurance for persons to visit primary care professionals before their issues become emergencies. This makes sense from both humanitarian and long term economic standpoints.
But not all states agree with Medicaid’s current framework and in some cases they limit eligibility or even try to “opt out” of Medicaid’s latest reforms. This is why it is crucial to review your state’s local policies, not just the federal ones.