U.S. Spends More on Medical Care for Inmates than Seniors, Veterans, Military Personnel
– Judicial Watch
“President Obama has repeatedly demonstrated that there’s an extra special place in his heart for incarcerated criminals, but this is a bit much. The administration spends a lot more money on the medical care of jailed convicts than retired seniors on Medicare, active U.S. military personnel or veterans, including an extra $100 million in one year alone, according to a federal audit released this month.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) consistently pays outside doctors and hospitals more to treat inmates than Medicare or other federal agencies would pay for the same services, according to the report which is the result of a Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General investigation. “We found that the BOP is the only federal agency that pays for medical care that is not covered under a statute or regulation under which the government sets the agency’s reimbursement rates, usually at the Medicare rate,” the report states. “Instead, the BOP solicits and awards a comprehensive medical services contract for each BOP institution to obtain outside medical services.”
The BOP claims its medical needs are more complex than other agencies because it provides chronic care for numerous inmates. Because medical providers have the choice not to treat inmates, the agency claims that it must pay extra. That still doesn’t explain why the government spends more money on the medical care of incarcerated criminals than active military personnel, veterans or senior citizens. Just because this information is out in the open doesn’t necessarily mean anything will happen to correct the problem, which is par for the course in government. The agency watchdog suggests convening a “working group” to find ways for the BOP to manage its medical costs and recommends that the agency improve the collection and analysis of data for inmate medical care. This will buy time, but it’s unlikely to result in any concrete action to cut the waste.
In the meantime federal inmates will continue to receive special treatment as long as Obama lives in the White House. Obama is the first sitting president to visit a federal prison and meet with inmates as part of his criminal justice reform movement. In 2010 the commander-in-chief proudly signed a law that, for the first time in decades, relaxed drug-crime sentences he claimed discriminated against minority offenders. Last year the administration released thousands of drug convicts from federal prisons around the country whose sentences were too long. In the aftermath of that mass release, the administration has spent huge amounts of taxpayer funds to help the prematurely discharged convicts reintegrate into society. This includes housing and job programs.”
…Continue reading @ Judicial Watch
VA Wants to Provide Transgender Surgeries
WASHINGTON — Sex reassignment surgeries might soon be covered by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The VA has proposed lifting its ban on the medical procedures, which treat a condition called gender dysphoria and allow a man to live as a woman or vice versa.
The department recently posted a notice and requested public comment on the White House’s Office of Management and Budget website.
VA’s effort to cover the transition-related surgeries comes as the military prepares to allow transgender troops to serve openly and President Barack Obama’s administration wrangles with states over the rights of transgender people to use the restrooms of the their choice.
The VA says the surgical procedures were not deemed to be “medically necessary” in the past and there were questions over their safety and effectiveness.”
…Continue reading @ Military.com