San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi wants authority to help county jail inmates submit applications for health insurance under the nation’s new law.
Mirkarimi proposes that San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors pass an ordinance to designate his department for such work. It would be one of the first county jail systems in the nation so designated.
The sheriff said many inmates have mental health problems, addictions and other chronic health problems, yet have neither health insurance nor money to pay for medical care after they’re released. Coverage provided under the state’s newly expanded Medi-Cal program for the poor, or bought with a subsidy through the Covered California insurance exchange, would aid these inmates’ re-entry into the community and “have the potential to positively affect public health and recidivism,” his news release said.