What's Hot
MOST READ
What's Going On

Calendar

Search thousands of events in our database.

Restaurants

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Nightlife

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Orlando Daily Deals powered by ReferLocal

OW on Twitter
OW on Facebook
Print Email

News

Happytown: Private health care for Florida prisons

First District Court of appeals quietly approves controversial plan to privatize health care in much of the state

Photo: , License: N/A


BETWEEN THE BARS

Though he has yet to succeed at his grand Machiavellian plan to privatize all of Florida’s 26 state prisons outright, last week Gov. Rick Scott was able to retain a shred of his dignity when the Fifth District Court of Appeals quietly approved a controversial plan to privatize prison health care for much of Florida. For the past two years, the notion of saving money through outsourcing dignity has come under litigious fire, mostly because legislators and the Department of Corrections tried to sneak the measure through back doors while nobody was looking. The issues were addressed, as they so often are, and the court ruled that everything about the plan now passes constitutional muster – even if it means more than 2,000 state workers may be out of a job. Hooray?

“Had the governor not insisted on going forward and doing unlawful action in violation of the state constitution, we would have never gotten to the point where we got,” American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees attorney Alma Gonzalez told wfsu.org. (The group was one of four plaintiffs in the suit representing the at-risk employees.)

Now it’s not just the employees who are at risk, but the prisoners – though, of course, nobody cares about them. Corizon Health, the private prison health care provider which stands to gain a hefty state contract after the budget goes into effect July 1, has an incredibly dicey history of abuses hidden under its scrubs – negligent care chief among them. The company was fined $1.2 million last year after causing an inmate to suffer partial paralysis. Pay no mind, though; privatized health care saves money! The Department of Corrections noted last year that the proposed contracting out of $353.8 million for health care could potentially save the state $51 million. That’s how much looking the other way costs, apparently.

In 2012, Corizon projected that it would maintain “between 97 [percent] and 99 percent” of current staff at the subject prisons in North and Central Florida, according to the Sunshine State News, so maybe it will all work out just fine. That is, until you go to prison. Here’s a tip: Don’t go to prison.

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus