Jan 9, 2020

State and local officials fight to keep Medicaid for inmates

Angola prison in Louisiana. Photo: Giles Clarke/Getty Images

Some local and state officials want Medicaid to start picking up the tab for inmates' health care, Stateline reports.

How it works: Medicaid beneficiaries lose their coverage while they're incarcerated — including pretrial detention for people who can't make bail — and county governments are generally responsible for providing their care.

State and local officials want Medicaid to start paying those bills. A single seriously ill inmate — someone with HIV, for example — can quickly strain county budgets, they said.

Forty states have already changed their rules so that Medicaid coverage kicks back in more quickly once people are released from jail.

  • Delays in restoring coverage can hurt patients, and in some cases — for example, people who are being treated for certain mental-health issues — can make recidivism more likely.

Go deeper

Trump vs. Medicaid

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

It may not get the most attention, but Medicaid is the prime target of the Trump administration’s health care agenda.

Why it matters: Medicaid covers about 70 million people — more than Medicare. It’s the biggest item in many states’ budgets. It is a huge part of the health care system, and the Trump administration has been fully committed, since day one, to shrinking it.

A little-noticed Medicaid proposal could have huge consequences

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Major health industry groups, governors and state Medicaid directors have all raised significant concerns with a Trump administration proposal that would change the rules and oversight of some forms of state Medicaid financing.

Why it matters: Billions of dollars are on the line for both states and providers, which they say in turn threatens the health care of some of America's most vulnerable people.

Go deeperArrowFeb 3, 2020 - Health

With Kansas deal, Medicaid expansion marches on

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Kansas will likely become the 37th state — 38th if you count D.C. — to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

Driving the news: The state's Democratic governor and Republican Senate leader announced a deal yesterday to expand the program, though it still needs to get through the state legislature.

Go deeperArrowJan 10, 2020