Civil Rights News: AZ Targets Medicaid, Roadblocks for Ex-Offenders, Health Care Repeal Could Hit Seniors
Arizona’s governor, Jan Brewer, proposed a new and controversial way of tightening Arizona’s budget: cutting Medicaid benefits for 280,000 of the state’s poorest residents. State governments are prohibited from tightening Medicaid eligibility requirements without first getting federal permission, and Brewer intends to make a formal waiver request this week. Health-care advocates are pushing hard against what they see as a political ploy that hurts the state’s most vulnerable population. Brewer’s aides insist that the move is not politically motivated, and that these extreme measures are Arizona’s only option forward.
Removing the Roadblocks to Rehabilitation
The New York Times
Tina Rosenberg wrote a compelling op-ed on the re-entry of former prisoners into the community. Current practices aren’t working, especially “the practice of dropping people getting out of jail or prison right back into the neighborhoods where they got in trouble in the first place.”
“This rule is one of many protocols for dealing with former prisoners that seem to make little sense. Many prisoners are sent home to arrive in the middle of the night with only a few dollars in their pockets. Virtually no one in prison in the United States today can get methadone maintenance therapy, the gold standard drug treatment. Prisoners are no longer eligible for the grants that used to make getting a college education in prison possible. This system is designed to fail. And it does.”
Senators Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) warn that if health care reform is repealed, seniors could each be forced to repay the government $250. The $250 represents the prescription drug rebate check issued to seniors in 2010.
Compiled by Brianna Deitrich and Hayley Lennon