Obamacare: Big $$$ for NJ Convicts

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Prison FenceAs if you needed another reason to loathe the (Un)affordable Care Act, Save Jerseyans, go ahead and try this one on for size: Hudson County is suing for retroactive reimbursement reflecting the cost of… get ready for it… inmate long-term hospital care.

How? Here’s an explanation of the little-known Obamacare exemption from the Jersey Journal:

Generally, no inmate in state prisons or county jails had been eligible for Medicaid coverage for long-term hospital care until the Affordable Care Act established a “24-hour exemption,” said executive director of the New Jersey Association of Counties John Donnadio.

The exemption provides coverage for Medicaid-eligible inmates who become inpatients of a hospital or nursing home upon the recommendation of a physician and then receive room, board, and professional services in the hospital or nursing home for a 24-hour period or longer.

The exemption became law on Jan. 1 in states that agreed to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, as New Jersey did. But Donnadio said the state has not yet implemented the 24-hour exemption due to “technical issues.”

It’s all part of a larger trend whereby cash-strapped states are trying to shift exploding inmate costs to the federal government. Hudson is hoping to shift $1 million of its requested county allotment of $1.9 million for inmate health costs to the feds. It’s been estimate that inmates could account for 30% of the nationwide Medicaid expansion which, as noted above, Chris Christie signed off on last February.

What I’d like to know? How does ANYONE think it’s fair to shell out millions of extra dollars, per county, for inmate hospitalization when hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans lost their plans all due to the same craptastic law? Many of whom are children?

Look at the facts AND the polls, Republicans. Now is not the time to back down…

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