April 28, 2016

Cárdenas Reintroduces Medicaid Coverage Bill Geared Towards At-Risk Youth

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Representative Tony Cárdenas (D-CA) today, along with U.S. Representative Morgan Griffith (R-VA) and Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Chris Murphy (D-CT), reintroduced the At-Risk Youth Medicaid Protection Act in honor of National Reentry Week. The act was first introduced in 2014. Below is a statement from Rep. Cárdenas on the importance of the act:

“In communities all across America, kids depend on Medicaid to stay in good health. Unfortunately, in some states, kids are kicked off Medicaid if they get into trouble with the law.  Once they return home, they are forced to reapply for coverage. The application process can take months. My bill would ensure that kids who have been detained and are on Medicaid can regain access to their coverage as soon as they return home.

“This week is National Reentry Week, and this bill is needed to ensure that kids have access to the care that’s crucial for them to become productive members of society. Every day that we delay this bill is a day that more children go without the care they need. Seven out of 10 kids are in facilities for fewer than 30 days, and seven out of 10 kids in the justice system have a mental health or substance abuse disorder. Cutting off care for these children can have long-term negative impacts on their health and on the well-being of those around them.

“We as legislators have an opportunity to flip the switch and make sure health coverage does not get taken away from children who need it most. The positive impacts of automatically reinstating coverage for children post detention far outweigh the negatives. This is about promoting the stability of a child’s future as well as the stability and safety of our communities.”

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