Now this is a complete stroke of genius which I couldn’t have cooked up for a political fiction novel. Down in Louisville, as prisoners are being discharged from jail, they’re getting a little something extra by way of a going away present. They’re being signed up for Obamacare.
After three months in jail on a theft charge, Vincent Garcia had prepared last week to collect his wallet and keys and turn in his orange scrubs upon release.
But the 26-year-old will leave jail with something else — free health insurance.
Louisville Metro Department of Corrections last week began holding daily sign-ups for exiting inmates, and Garcia was among those qualifying for the newly expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
Now, I know what you’re thinking here… But wait. Obamacare is already flooding the Medicaid rolls and these people are unlikely to pay anything into the system. Won’t this just bloat the system even further and drive it toward insolvency faster? And a lot of working people still can’t afford their rising premium costs. Won’t there be an outcry over these convicts getting it for free?
Well, not to worry. You’re right! But nobody cares! Well, I guess Mitch McConnell does.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said signing up those leaving jail or prison will add burdens to an already strained Medicaid program that is hard pressed to find enough doctors willing to accept Medicaid patients.
“This is yet another disturbing aspect of a profoundly troubling piece of legislation,” said McConnell.
Federal rules ban use of Medicaid while someone is incarcerated, but that doesn’t apply to inmates hospitalized for at least 24 hours. And all prisoners are constitutionally guaranteed health care while behind bars.
Instead of “navigators” being trained to sign people up, Kentucky has brought in some kynectors to sign up the inmates. (Get it? Kynectors? That’s hilarious.) So fear not… we should blow past any projected Obamacare enrollment numbers in no time flat. All is well, citizens!