Louisville Metro 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.
It's part of a growing push nationwide by prisons and jails trying to take advantage of expanded health care to curb rapidly rising medical costs in a setting where many are poor, unhealthy and uninsured.
Their motivation is twofold: Expensive inmate hospitalizations lasting more than 24 hours can be billed to Medicaid, cutting local and state costs. And it provides coverage to a population whose high rates of chronic disease, substance abuse and mental illness often land them back in jail, where they are expensive to treat.
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