Chronic homelessness and chronic illness are so tangled up with each other, it can be hard for a provider to know which problem is damaging an individual more . . . their health condition or lack of housing. That’s why homeless advocates here and all over America are anxiously awaiting Obama Care, a.k.a. the law that launched the Tea Party. According to officials in the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department (PHD) and at The National Healthcare for the Homeless Program (NHCHP), in 2014, when the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is rolled out, most homeless people will become eligible for Medicaid — or Medi-Cal in California. That’s not all, because aspects of the law incentivize preventative care, it’s possible that supportive services for formerly homeless people in “Housing First” programs will be Medi-Cal billable.
“[It’s] a very real possibility,” said John Lozier, executive director of the NHCHP. “The [law contains] lots of incentives for doing things that keep people well.” And, he said, keeping people in housing is one of those things. To read more, see homelessinsb.org.