Break the Law - for Better Medical Care


Anyone having trouble paying for dental work or doctor visits?  There’s a way to get it covered by the taxpayers; it just means you’ll have to break the law to do it!


Can you believe that the budget for our county jail is $355,750 per year for dental and medical care?  The Sheriff’s Department actually requested $508,000 a year for these jail expenses, but were given the same amount as last year.  (Mind you, they did not receive a cut, but were given the budget amount from the previous year.  Too often, we are led to believe that cuts were made, when the only “cut” is from the inflated, requested increase.) 


According to the Sheriff’s Department, we taxpayers are only responsible for tooth extractions if an inmate has pain or infection.  We do not pay for other dental work.  However, recently we saw an inmate released on several furloughs for dental appointments.  Were they all extractions?  Were they all emergencies?  Did we pick up the tab?  Our county is now being sued because those dental trips turned into shopping trips, which turned into hotel stops.  Doesn’t sound to me like there was too much tooth pain involved.


We’re also told by the Sheriff’s Department that the taxpayers must pay for prescription medicine for the inmate while they are jailed.  Now tell me, does that sound fair?  If an inmate is taking a medicine monthly, and has continuously paid for it monthly, why should we taxpayers have to pay for it after he breaks the law?  Again, this is not an emergency situation and should not fall on the people who are working to provide themselves and their families with their own medical care.  We did not commit the crime----why should we pay to make life easier for the criminal?  This is an instance where the innocent, law-abiding bystander becomes a victim, while the law-breaker gets an easy ride.


Our jail system has become too soft.  If we didn’t provide such nice amenities, maybe we wouldn’t have so many repeat offenders.


Stop and think about that $355,750 budget.  We have families and senior citizens in our community who can’t afford medicine, doctor visits and dental care.  And, here we are, providing it free for thieves, rapists and murderers.  Let’s demand a limit to this privilege.


Joe King

Citizens for a Better Blount Future