Today, Congresswoman Moore and Congresswoman Karen Bass introduced the Dosha “DJay” Joi Immediate Coverage for Former Foster Youth Act to honor the life of “DJay,” a former foster youth and advocate who passed away last week due to complications from contracting COVID-19. This legislation would expand access to health care for former foster youth. Right now, individual states are only required to provide Medicaid coverage to former foster youth who continue living in the same state where they aged out of the foster care system. Legislation has passed to provides a fix, but the remedy will be delayed. The Dosha “DJay” Joi Immediate Coverage for Former Foster Youth Act will provide an instant solution to guarantee all eligible foster youth can access Medicaid now until age 26. Congresswoman Moore released the following statement:
“I first had the pleasure of meeting DJay when he shadowed me in Congress during Foster Youth Day. This was this beginning of a special bond; he later become a part of my family, and we enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday, brunches, and worship services together. DJay’s confidence, intelligence. drive and resilience, helped him create a bright future for himself and he brought joy wherever he went, leaving a lasting impression on those who met him. He knew firsthand how the difficulties of becoming fully independent at age 18 can be compounded for former foster youth.
His passion led to his advocacy being recognized by Wisconsin’s Department of Child and Family Services. Given his dreams to work in the health care field as a nurse and his advocacy for foster youth, I am honoring his memory with this legislation and will continue building on his legacy of being a champion for former foster youth,” said Rep. Gwen Moore.
“I first met DJay when he was in Washington, DC participating in our Foster Youth Shadow Day program,” said Rep. Bass “His smile lit up dim meeting rooms and his laugh bounded through sometimes-hollow hallways. He was an advocate through and through – a champion for health care reforms for current and former foster youth and other changes to our child welfare system. He wanted to make the world a better place than he found it. And he did. DJay’s death is a sad reminder that there is no time to waste to act on behalf of our nation’s foster youth.
As this pandemic continues, it’s critical that we make sure everyone in this vulnerable population has the coverage and the care they need. We must pass the Dosha Joi Immediate Coverage for Former Foster Youth Act,” said Rep. Karen Bass.