Kelso Seeks Bills To Curb Prison Health Spending, Allow for Medical Parole
On Tuesday, J. Clark Kelso -- the federal court-appointed receiver who oversees the California prison health care system -- said he will ask state lawmakers to approve four bills aimed at reducing state inmate health spending by about $350 million, the AP/Ventura County Star reports.
Democratic lawmakers and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) recently asked Kelso to cut $811 million from the prison health system, which amounts to about 40% of its budget.
TheÂ four bills Kelso endorsedÂ include proposals to restrict prisons' use of prescription drugs and outside medical specialists.
Kelso also endorsed a bill (SB 1399) by Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco). The measure would allow the secretary of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to grant medical parole to inmates who are incapacitated and pose no public safety threat.
Kelso said Medicaid likely would cover about half of the cost of care for most medically paroled inmates and that older inmates could qualify for Medicare (Thompson, AP/Ventura County Star, 3/16).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.