Addiction Policy News

ASAM Urges Congress to Include the Medicaid Reentry Act in Next COVID Response Package

August 14, 2020


On August 14, the American Society of Addiction Medicine, the Legal Action Center, and 123 other organizations sent a letter to congressional leadership urging them to include the Medicaid Reentry Act in the next COVID response package. This bipartisan legislation would permit Medicaid to support essential health care for 30 days prior to release and upon reentry, providing for more coordinated care for people in carceral settings and who are reentering.


The letter stresses that the Medicaid Reentry Act is especially vital during the COVID-19 pandemic to safeguard the health of not only incarcerated individuals, but also their families and surrounding communities. Furthermore, because systemic racism has led to the the overrepresentation of Black and Brown people in jails and prisons, the Medicaid Reentry Act would promote greater racial justice and access to health care for historically underserved populations. Finally, the Medicaid Reentry Act would improve access to healthcare for recently released individuals when they are particularly vulnerable. During the first two weeks of reentry, people are 129 percent more likely to die of a drug overdose and are at significantly higher risk of suicide.


Read the letter here.


Read the Medicaid Reentry Act here