Skip To Content
May 02, 2023

Trone, Turner, Tonko, Rutherford Reintroduce Legislation to Allow Medicaid to Cover All Pretrial Detainees


May 2, 2023

Contact: Sloane Gallagher,  

Trone, Turner, Tonko, Rutherford Reintroduce Legislation to Allow Medicaid to Cover All Pretrial Detainees

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Representatives David Trone (D-MD), Michael Turner (R-OH), Paul Tonko (D-NY), and John Rutherford (R-FL) reintroduced the bipartisan, bicameral Due Process Continuity of Care Act. The bill would amend the Medicaid Inmate Exclusion Policy (MIEP), which denies Medicaid coverage to incarcerated individuals, to allow coverage for all pretrial detainees. Last year, part of the Due Process Continuity of Care Act was signed into law as part of the FY23 government funding package, allowing juvenile pretrial detainees to receive Medicaid coverage. The reintroduction and hopeful passage will ensure adult pretrial detainees can also receive this vital care.

The MIEP’s policy of exclusion toward pretrial detainees conflicts with their constitutional right to due process by denying Medicaid coverage to individuals presumed innocent. It also shifts the full financial burden of pretrial detainees’ health care onto local jails and taxpayers, which is a large cost considering two-thirds of people held in local jails are pretrial detainees. 

“Our criminal justice system guarantees folks that they are presumed innocent until proven guilty, but preventing pretrial detainees from accessing Medicaid violates that right,” said Congressman David Trone, co-chair of the Bipartisan Second Chance Task Force. “We know that a high percentage of incarcerated individuals suffer from mental health conditions and substance use disorders – this policy is only making matters worse. This effort will restore detainees’ constitutionally protected rights and ensure access to much-needed healthcare.” 

“Too many people in Ohio and across the country have been negatively impacted by the opioid epidemic,” said Congressman Mike Turner. “I am proud to partner with Representatives Trone, Rutherford, and Tonko in reintroducing the Due Process Continuity of Care Act. Our bipartisan legislation amends a portion of the Medicaid Inmate Exclusion Policy that perpetuates a dangerous cycle of treatment interruption and recidivism for individuals awaiting trial. Fixing this unconstitutional flaw in our Medicaid system will save lives.”

“For years, I’ve worked to advance bipartisan legislation that expands access to addiction treatment and delivers needed support to our most vulnerable communities,” said Congressman Tonko. “The Due Process Continuity of Care Act builds powerfully on this effort by ensuring that people not convicted of a crime retain lifesaving Medicaid coverage. I am proud to join Congressmen Trone, Turner, and Rutherford to introduce this legislation that will reduce recidivism, protect due process, and save lives.”

“As a former sheriff, I saw firsthand how access to mental health care helps keep communities safe. The Due Process Continuity of Care Act will keep those working through our legal system from being unduly punished,” said Congressman John Rutherford, co-chair of the Bipartisan Second Chance Task Force. “Improving access to mental health care and substance abuse treatment isn’t soft on crime – it’s smart on crime!”

The Due Process Continuity of Care Act’s companion bill is led by Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Ed Markey (D-MA). 

“Americans are innocent until proven guilty. This legislation is consistent with the bedrock principle,” said Dr. Cassidy (R-LA).

“The Medicaid Inmate Exclusion Policy often interrupts needed medical, mental health, and addiction treatment for jail inmates who disproportionately suffer from chronic medical conditions and substance use disorders,” said National Association of Counties Executive Director Matthew Chase. “Stripping or suspending federal health benefits from pre-trial detainees, who are presumed innocent, presents constitutional issues, and also leads to poorer health outcomes and higher recidivism. We thank Senator Cassidy for introducing this important bill that will ensure pre-trial detainee access to Medicaid, a key measure in protecting the care continuum and strengthening public safety.”

“The Due Process Continuity of Care Act will promote access to lifesaving addiction treatment for incarcerated individuals. Even while awaiting trial, people who are incarcerated can experience lapses in care that threaten their recovery and lives. This legislation would fix that,” said Libby Jones, Program Director of the Overdose Prevention Initiative. “The Overdose Prevention Initiative is proud to support this legislation, and we thank Congressman Trone for his continuing dedication to addressing the overdose crisis through smart, bipartisan legislation that will save lives.”

For bill text, click here.

For bill summary, click here.

The Due Process Continuity of Care Act is endorsed by the American Parole and Probation Association, American Psychological Association, Anti-Recidivism Coalition, Black and Jewish Unity Coalition, CorJus, Dream.Org, International Community Corrections Association, Major County Chiefs Association, Major County Sheriffs, National Alliance on Mental Illness, National Criminal Justice Association, National Association of Counties, National Sheriffs Association, R St Institute, and Successful Reentry.

Congressman David Trone was elected to the House of Representatives in November 2018 to serve the 6th District of Maryland, which includes all or part of Montgomery, Frederick, Washington, Allegany, and Garrett Counties. Trone serves on the Appropriations, Budget, and Joint Economic Committees in the 118th Congress. In Congress, Trone is fighting to make progress on issues that matter to Marylanders, including the mental health and addiction crises, criminal justice reform, and funding for medical research.

Follow Congressman Trone at @RepDavidTrone for updates on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.