Texas Seen Unlikely To Rush Into Privatizing Prison Health Care


Texas legislative leaders gave an initial cold shoulder to the idea of hiring private contractors to take over parts or all of Texas’ cash-strapped health care system for convicted felons, reports the Austin American-Statesman. Their concern is that there’s no proof such a plan would save money, and time is too short to explore such an extensive overhaul of a complicated and costly system.

Leaders appeared intent to move ahead with a funding plan relying primarily on two state universities — the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and Texas Tech University — to provide most medical services for Texas’ 154,000 convicted criminals. “The concern is that private vendors would come in and cherry-pick the best parts of the system, and leave everything else because that’s not where the money is,” said Senate Criminal Justice Committee Chairman John Whitmire.

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