Nebraska prisoners and jail inmates would have to provide a $10 co-payment for non-emergency health care each time they request it, under a new bill in the Legislature.
Sen. Tyson Larson of O’Neill proposed a measure Wednesday that would require county jails to deduct the payment from inmates’ personal accounts. Inmates who have less than $10 would lose half of each new deposit until the payment was covered.
Larson says he was approached by a county sheriff in his district who complained that inmate requests for health care were pulling deputies away from their regular duties. He says 37 other states require co-payments from inmates, including Iowa, South Dakota and Kansas.
The bill includes exceptions for emergency care, mental health or substance abuse treatments, and treatment of a chronic illness.