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My name is ;
If that person has a life sentence, you can bet that at some point he or she will become a level one health care patient because we have been given a sentence that insists we die here in prison. It only stands to reason that the 20 and 30 something's of today are going to e the 50 and 60 year olds of tomorrow with their own ballooning health care cost stuck in the system that is bogged down by the overwhelming cost of incarceration specifically related to our health care system.
The first requirement states that any medical treatment must be essential to life or preservation of a limb, or reduces what is called intractable pain, or prevents significant deterioration of activities of daily living (ADL) There are several other requirements, but for the time constraints we are bound by here today, please allow me to move forward. To be deemed a level one health care patient, one of the requirements states that the cost of any treatment determined by the health care providers and the care Review Committee must exceed $25.000.00. Let me assure you that my health care from this day forward will only increase and eventually balloon into 100's of thousands of dollars over the remaining days of my life.
There are many men and women currently incarcerated in DOC that are even worse off than me and they are housed on the fourth floor here at Monroe or other medical facilities throughout Washington. Many of these men have served a significant amount of their sentences and are in poor health leaving no questions that their life of crime and their perceived threat to the community in which they came from are virtually non-existent.
When we talk about the budget and how DOC has to find ways to make even more cuts, you would think that this is one of the areas DOC would certainly take a look at. Yet they do not, and in fact it has been made even more difficult for offenders with health care problems to ask for clemency and this is especially true with lifers who can no longer ask for medical clemency by law.
I believe it cost somewhere around $45,000.00 a year to house an offender today. If we are talking bottom line dollars here then it is way past time to look at another functional Parole system that will allow for the sick and elderly to go home. If DOC is not geared for rehabilitation, then let us remind them what compassion is as it relates to the taxpayer's pocket books.
I do not believe the law makers accounted for this when the three-strike bill was passed and as I understand it today, it is something they are not looking forward to dealing with in the future. But they must. There are many incarcerated persons with a level one health care issue that would have been let go under the old guidelines Parole Board system. If we are talking bottom line dollars here then it is way past time to look at another functional parole system that will allow the sick and elderly to go home. If DOC is not geared for rehabilitation, then let us remind them what compassion is as it relates to the taxpayers pocket book.