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NY Assembly backs pre-release Medicaid for inmates

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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York's Assembly has proposed Medicaid coverage for "high needs" state prison and local jail inmates starting 30 days before their release. The lawmakers say the plan would ensure that the inmates can get prescription medications and services to keep them from relapsing and returning.

New York expanded discharge planning for inmates last year. Advocates say the lack of services remains one of the biggest reasons so many released prisoners are quickly locked up again, are hospitalized or become homeless. They say this change would add services sooner.

The proposal is in the Assembly's budget plan for the fiscal year starting April 1.  The Assembly, the state Senate and Gov. Andrew Cuomo are negotiating a final budget.