Florida Inmate Health Care Privatization Plan Expires Sunday


The largest privatization venture undertaken by Florida's prison system is in peril, and might be doomed when the new fiscal year begins Sunday, in what the Miami Herald calls political victory for organized labor. The state legislature ordered the Department of Corrections last year to hire private companies to provide health care to all 100,000 inmates at a savings of at least 7 percent in the first year of a five-year contract.

Lawmakers mandated it in the fine print of the budget known as proviso, and two unions, for prison nurses and state workers, filed suit, challenging the action as unconstitutional. Circuit Judge Kevin Carroll was told yesterday by lawyers for both sides that the proviso expires with the budget on Sunday.

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