Nearly 50 million Americans do not have health insurance, but it is provided for prisoners (O'Connor 1). In 1976, the United States Supreme Court ruled that prisoners have a constitutional right to equal medical care; a right that "law-abiding citizens" do not have (Kahn 1). This right to medical care is unfair because if prisoners deserve medical care then so did the millions of people who died last year without have it. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics there were 2, 003, 331 prisoners held in Federal or State prisons or in local jails in 2002. Every prisoner was provided with health care. Unlike citizens who have not committed crimes against society, like the murders, rapists, pedophiles, and thieves, prisoners will receive health care but on the backs of law-abiding citizens.
Citizens who can't afford health care will not receive any help, unless they are eligible for government assistance or receive help through a charity group. In a government report Containing Health Care Costs For An Increasing Inmate Population by the Bureau of Prisoners' it stated that health care costs for federal prisoners increased from $137. 6 million in fiscal year 1990 to $372. 1 million in fiscal year 1999, an average annual increase of about 8.
6 percent (not adjusted for inflation). If you do the math, last year we roughly paid, $450 million dollars for federal prisoners' health care (not including inflation). On the state level it will vary from state to state but the average is $275 million annually (O'Connor 3). These numbers will continue to rise mainly because prisoners do not live the healthiest of lives. Many are drug abusers, alcoholics, smokers, or have other vices that affect their health. Due to some other poor choices many have STDs, sexual transmitted diseases, such as AIDs.
Of course, these poor choices with their life cause their health care bill to rise; medical drugs, mental care, transplants and aftercare (O'Connor 3, 4).