Unexpected benefit from ACA

Six states and counties, including Cook County Jail located in Chicago, are getting new prisoners to sign up for health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)  and the Medicaid expansion program,  according to Bloomberg Washington News.   Proponents feel this will decrease recidivism because inmates getting medical treatment for mental illness, substance abuse and other conditions have a better chance of recovery and avoiding crime in the future.  There is also the practical reality for the localities of shifting  health care costs to the federal level.  According to Bloomberg more than $6.5 billion is spent by states for treating prisoners.   The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that about 480,000 people in U.S. prisons and jails suffer from a mental illness.   If the medical conditions, despite treatment, are  so severe that they preclude full time work, there will be more people with medical insurance, treatment and records to prove entitlement to SSDI and SSI benefits.

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