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At-Risk Kids

Every day, youth who enter detention centers, jails, and prisons with Medicaid coverage leave those same facilities without the essential Medicaid support for medical care they need to address a variety of physical and mental health needs. This is because a majority of states terminate enrollment for medical assistance under Medicaid, even in the absence of a federal mandate requiring such action.

A disproportionate number of youth in the juvenile justice system come from impoverished backgrounds and cope with a myriad of mental disorders and health ailments. According to research by the National Conference of State Legislatures, as many as 70% of youth in the juvenile justice system suffer from a mental disorder. As many as one in five suffer from a mental illness severe enough to impair their ability to function adequately. Many meet the criteria for multiple disorders.

That is why, in my role as the U.S. Representative for California's 29th District, I have introduced the At-Risk Youth Medicaid Protection Act (H.R. 5100). This act will ensure that children already enrolled in the Medicaid program receive coverage as soon as they are released from custody.

Want to know about this bill? Here are some resources to help you get started.

  • Medicaid Suspension Policies for Incarcerated People: 50-State Map

  • Senate Companion bill by Senators Murphy and Booker.

Here are a few sample press releases and news articles that showcase what this bill is about and why it's so important for our youth and our communities. 

Press Releases

In the News

The importance of a bill can be seen by the amount of support it receives. Here's a look at the more than 100 organizations that have come out in support of my At-Risk Youth Medicaid Protection Act and its companion bill in the Senate.

Here is a full list of organizations that have voiced their support for my bill. 

Here are a few sample letters of support my bill has received from some of the most esteemed organizations across the nation. 

More on At-Risk Kids

Dec 21, 2018 Press Release

Representatives Cárdenas, Kinzinger, Cohen and Wagner Praise Final Passage of SOAR Act
Grants would provide training for health professionals to spot signs of human trafficking

Oct 24, 2018 Press Release

Contact: Bryan Doyle
(202) 225-6131

Below is a statement from Congressman Tony Cárdenas (D-CA) on the signing of the bipartisan At-Risk Youth Medicaid Protection Act, an effort led by Cárdenas and Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA):