Ingrown Toenail Scandal in California Prison Healthcare Debate

California, a state that is perennially facing fiscal budget deficits and challenges that often arise from its boom or bust economy and plethora of moronic politicians, has been battling it out with the justice system, public employee unions and advocacy organizations when it comes to the  provision of adequate healthcare and medical treatment to inmates in their overcrowded prison system.

In the Los Angeles Times comes a story about mistreatment of prisoners titled “Court experts cite ‘serious’ healthcare risks at Corcoran prison“:

Three inmate deaths were described as likely preventable, including that of a diabetic man who was receiving the wrong insulin medication.

The reviewers also cited repeated lapses in patient care, including the case of a man whose ingrown toenails were left unattended until [he had to have the ingrown toenails surgically removed] the nails had to be surgically removed, and a patient with valley fever who did not receive prescribed chest CT scans.

In 2006, a California court ordered the care and management of the prison healthcare system to be placed under a court-appointed official.  The prison system has been facing court ordered threats to release prisoners to combat overcrowding and improve living conditions.  Many Californians simply have not expressed much anger towards the supposed lack of quality healthcare, especially with many of them paying all-time high premiums for their medical care or lacking it entirely as the state still bounces back from the Great Recession.

What I would be curious to know is how much the state taxpayers were billed for this toenail removal since we have already established the fact that cost of ingrown toenail surgery isn’t that high, relatively speaking when compared to other surgical procedures.