WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), along with Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02), introduced legislation to end the outdated Medicaid Inmate Exclusion Policy (MIEP), which strips justice-involved individuals of their Medicaid coverage, passing the cost on to counties and states. The Humane Correctional Health Care Act would help disrupt the cycle of recidivism in our justice system and provide continuity of care for justice-involved individuals serving in public institutions. Senator Cory Booker introduced companion legislation in the Senate.

“Mental health and substance use disorder challenges affect millions of Americans, including those in our criminal justice system,” said Congressman Fitzpatrick, co-chair of the Bipartisan Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Task Force. “The Humane Correctional Health Care Act will ensure that struggling Americans who are transitioning back into society have adequate access to mental health resources.”

“For decades, the Medicaid Inmate Exclusion Policy has fed into the cycle of addiction and incarceration we see across our country and created a massive financial burden for local communities,” said Congresswoman Kuster, founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Task Force. “We must improve this destructive policy and try to end the cycle of recidivism by helping justice-involved individuals receive the treatment and care they need. I am proud to reintroduce legislation to help people reenter their communities, and I urge my colleagues to join us in getting this done.”

“Denying Medicaid and CHIP coverage to people at a time when many of them are in dire need of health care coverage, including treatment for mental health and substance use disorders, defies common sense,” said Senator Booker. “The Medicaid Inmate Exclusion not only worsens health outcomes, but also increases the likelihood of recidivism and drug overdoses. We can help put an end to this cruel cycle that continues to harm families and communities by ensuring that more people receive the help they need to successfully reintegrate into their communities. That is why I am proud to join my colleagues in reintroducing this bill that would end this outdated policy and increase access to Medicaid and life-saving care and treatment for those incarcerated.”