You have to give the Federal Receiver Clark Kelso credit. He's been attacked repeatedly in the press by Governor Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Brown for spending on "gold-plated" health care, for intruding on state sovereignty, and for other failings. Kelso, to his credit, hasn't backed down. And he has taken the fight to the press, as well.
Just today, in the Sacramento Bee (my new favorite paper), Kelso published an opinion piece, entitled "Prison health care reform can save money." According to Kelso,the prison health care system has been racked by waste and abuse. According to Kelso, eliminating these inefficiencies (and worse) has been a central task of the receivership, and the work has started to bear fruit. As Kelso writes, "We have found ways to cut $500 million from the annual cost of prison health care by cutting waste."
Kelso focuses on three key reforms: (1) reducing the very expensive out-of-prison referrrals; (2) developming new cost-saving programs, like a new pharmacy program, and new measures to manage health records; (3) "Implementing performance measures in the prison medical care program."