A federal audit released this month reveals that the Obama administration spends considerably more money for medical care of jailed convicts than it does for active U.S. military personnel, veterans or retirees.
Judicial Watch issued a summary of the report Tuesday, saying, “Obama has repeatedly demonstrated that he has an extra place in his heart for incarcerated criminals, but this is a bit much.”
According to the report, outlined by a Department of Justice watchdog, most federal agencies and federal law enforcement stay within the medicare rates when outside medical services are needed for individuals within their care. But not the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), who consistently pays outside doctors and hospitals MORE to treat inmates than other government agencies pay for the same services.
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Instead of using medical services that will accept the medicare rates, the BOP negotiates its own rates for medical services, which ends up costing a lot more – tens of millions of dollars more – at the expense of the American taxpayers.
From 2010 to 2014, BOP spending for outside medical services increased 24%. Out of its $6.2 million budget, the prison system spent $905 million on medical care for inmates, in just one year, including salaried BOP medical staff, prescription drugs, medical supplies and outside providers. In total, inflated rates cost over $300,000 million annually.
Judicial Watch reports:
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.
Obama is the first U.S. President to visit a federal prison and meet with prisoners as part of his criminal justice reform program. In 2010 he signed into law an early-release program for minor drug offenders, and has spent huge amounts of taxpayer money to help the newly released convicts blend back into society, even giving the assistance with housing and job programs.
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