Throw The Uninsured In Jail!
Category: Right On!
The solution to the 40 million plus Americans without health insurance may lie in our prison system.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1976 that inmates have a constitutional right to health care. (What a great country!) If we could criminalize failing to have health insurance and (this is important) impose prison sentences instead of handing out probation, we are home free.
We should parole the uninsured offenders when they turn 65, however, to avoid this pathetic scenario:
It's becoming a common sight: geriatric inmates spending their waning days behind bars. The soaring number of aging inmates is now outpacing the prison growth as a whole.
Tough sentencing laws passed in the 1980s and 1990s are largely to blame. It's all fueling an explosion in inmate health costs.
"It keeps going up and up," said Alan Adams, director of Health Services for the Georgia Department of Corrections. "We've got some old guys who are too sick to get out of bed. And some of them, they're going to die inside. The courts say we have to provide care and we do. But that costs money."
The trend is particularly pronounced in the South, which has some of the nation's toughest sentencing laws. In 16 Southern states, the growth rate has escalated by an average of 145 percent since 1997, according to the Southern Legislative Conference.
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