Lawmaker Says More Money Needed To Pay Jail Medical Costs

Friday, October 26th 2007, 7:11 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A state lawmaker says the Oklahoma Legislature should provide more money to the Department of Corrections to pay the medical costs of inmates including state inmates being held in county jails. The department decided last year that state law requires it to pay only for emergency medical care for state inmates while they're in county jails and it stopped paying for non-emergency care.

State Representative Gus Blackwell says the department is correct in paying only emergency medical costs and says the law should be changed. Blackwell says county jails face a financial burden in paying for health care for state inmates and the Department of Corrections will need more money to pay those medical bills.

The state pays counties $27 a day for housing state inmates but county officials say it costs them $35 a day to keep the inmates.