Anne Swerlick
November 23, 2020

Top 5 Reasons Why Medicaid Expansion Goes Hand in Hand With Smart Criminal Justice Reform in Florida

This post was last updated on September 29, 2021. As new policies are announced, FPI will update this page.

As Florida’s response to COVID-19 takes front and center, concern grows for low-income families who struggle to take precautions against the spread of the virus. Although Congress has passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to address, at least in part,  the public health crisis and economic fallout from COVID-19, many barriers continue to keep struggling families from accessing the assistance they need during the pandemic. As Florida initiates policies implementing the Act and addressing other barriers to the safety net, FPI will update this form. When available, hyperlinks are provided to agency documents or statements that provide greater detail  about the new policy.

On March 22, 2020, FPI and 44 other organizations sent a letter to Governor DeSantis, leadership in the Legislature and agency heads to urge action on 47 specific policy changes to reduce unnecessary barriers for Florida’s safety net programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. See the letter here.

Executive Summary

Growing health care costs for Floridians who are incarcerated are unsustainable. If Florida expanded Medicaid, the state could access millions of federal dollars to help fund these costs. In addition, it could provide health care coverage to thousands of uninsured justice-involved individuals, giving them access to services essential to successful reentry into their communities. Additional funds could also help support new reentry programs, which are key to connecting people to services and reducing recidivism rates. This is low-hanging fruit for Florida policymakers seeking to advance effective and fiscally responsible criminal justice reform.  

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