Sheriffs across Missouri look to recoup medical costs

Sunday, December 5, 2010 | 7:49 p.m. CST

JEFFERSON CITY — Cash-strapped sheriff's departments in Missouri are looking for ways to cut expenses, and one of those is to force inmates to pay their own medical expenses.

State law allows counties to recoup the costs of physician visits, dental care or medication from inmates, either through insurance or by levying against an inmate's assets.

The Jefferson City News-Tribune reports that Maries County Sheriff Chris Heitman recently filed a lawsuit over inmates' failure to pay those expenses. It's not clear if other sheriffs will file lawsuits of their own, but they say they will make sure those staying in their jails will pay for such care.

Heitman says he has gotten a positive response from other sheriffs and plans to go to court on more cases.

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Paul Allaire December 6, 2010 | 2:29 p.m.

Why yes, I believe that a portion of the money that the inmates earn while incarcerated should be diverted toward paying for their choice of medical providers. (Sarcasm off)

(Report Comment)
Louis Schneebaum December 6, 2010 | 2:49 p.m.

What IS this absurd Tea Bagger nonsense?

(Report Comment)
John Schultz December 6, 2010 | 3:04 p.m.

Oh Louis, you are such the sweet-tongued progressive.

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield December 6, 2010 | 3:06 p.m.

Louis, when an inmate doesn't pay for the cost of his or her care, who do you think picks up that tab? (Hint: Look in the mirror.)

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire December 6, 2010 | 3:20 p.m.

Why,yes!!! Inmates should be required to pay the costs of the facilities where they choose to congregate. And the citizens shouldn't have to pay the sheriff one dime!!! (sarcasm on)

(Report Comment)
Christopher Foote December 6, 2010 | 3:52 p.m.

Maybe they could continue holding them until the debt is paid and charge them room and board as well. Funny how these ideas that sound so good over a cup of Earl Grey are so regressive. What if they can't pay for their treatment... Cue Alan Grayson:

(Report Comment)

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