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Day of action focuses on CT undocumented's healthcare needs; 7 jurors seated in first Trump criminal trial; ND looks to ease 'upskill' obstacles for former college students; Black Maternal Health Week ends, health disparities persist.

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Seven jury members were seated in Trump's hush money case. House Speaker Johnson could lose his job over Ukraine aid. And the SCOTUS heard oral arguments in a case that could undo charges for January 6th rioters.

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Fears grow that low-income folks living in USDA housing could be forced out, North Carolina's small and Black-owned farms are helped by new wind and solar revenues, and small towns are eligible for grants to boost civic participation..

Feds OK CA Plan to Pre-Enroll Incarcerated People in Medi-Cal

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Tuesday, March 14, 2023   

California will soon become the first state in the nation to offer health insurance to income-eligible individuals who are incarcerated - starting 90 days prior to their release. The feds just agreed to match funds spent on Medi-Cal or CHIP for people leaving jail, prison or juvenile correctional facilities.

Hagar Dickman, senior attorney at the nonprofit Justice in Aging, said it is in everyone's interest to set justice-involved people up for success.

"The idea is to ensure that people are connected with services prior to their release, and individuals with mental-health needs and substance-abuse disorder also can have their medication given to them prior to the release," Dickman said.

Previously the feds would only reimburse the state's Medi-Cal expenses for people upon their release. In addition, the state passed a law last fall put people's Medi-Cal into suspension instead of terminating it while incarcerated. Now their status will be reactivated without them having to reapply.

This is not just a health initiative, it's an equity initiative - since a disproportionate number of people of color face incarceration, Dickman said. And it puts people on stronger footing as they re-enter society.

"This is really an important way to combat the significant effects of mental illness, mental health issues, and substance abuse in the jails particularly in light of both high rates of homelessness and also suicide and overdose as people are released," she said.

The move is part of the larger project called Cal AIM
which will modernize Medi-Cal - and allow it to cover things like housing supports, since secure housing is considered a social determinant of health.

Disclosure: Justice in Aging contributes to our fund for reporting on Civil Rights, Health Issues, Senior Issues, Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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