Hastings Reintroduces Restoring the Partnership for County Health Care Costs Act of 2019

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Washington, D.C., February 25, 2019 | comments

Today, Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) reintroduced the Restoring the Partnership for County Health Care Costs Act of 2019, which would prohibit the federal government from stripping pre-trial individuals in county jails of their Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, and SSI benefits, before an inmate has been convicted of a crime. Joining Hastings as original co-sponsors of the bill are (8): Reps. Gwen Moore (WI-04), Charlie Crist (FL-13), Wm. Lacy Clay (MO-01), Raul M. Grijalva (AZ-03), Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30), Andre Carson (IN-07), Bennie G. Thompson (MS-02), and Susan Wild (PA-07). (Please find attached a copy of the legislation):

“The U.S. Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Constitution’s 8th Amendment requires government entities to provide medical care to all inmates. With current law allowing the federal government to cut off important safety net resources, local governments are burdened with the expense of providing health care to thousands of men, women, and juveniles currently awaiting trial, while also trying to manage widespread budget deficits and cuts to essential services. 

“We must remember that although these inmates are incarcerated, some for over a year, they are innocent until proven guilty and the termination of their benefits could very well undermine this cardinal presumption. Moreover, the denial of benefits disproportionately affects low-income and minority populations, as they are oftentimes unable to post bond, which would enable them to continue receiving benefits.

“There is no question that the denial of access to fundamental programs and the erosion of the presumption of innocence are an affront to our sense of justice and our stated commitment to the rule of law.” 

Congressman Alcee L. Hastings serves as Vice Chairman of the House Rules Committee, Chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and Co-Chairman of the Florida Delegation.

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