By enrolling jail inmates in nationally subsidized healthcare -- best known as "Obamacare" to both the President and his critics -- the county could bill the federal government for the cost of providing some of them medical care.
County health department officials briefed Multnomah County commissioners on the issue this week.
In addition to saving the county money, enrolling inmates in Obamacare would also mean a significant percentage will now have insurance when their jail stay is done.
The county's corrections health care team has begun a push to enroll jail inmates in Medicaid or other forms of coverage. Seven "eligibility specialists" began working this week to help inmates complete their insurance applications, and they signed 22 inmates up for continuing care during their first day on the job.