The Norman Transcript

Local news

March 15, 2013

County commissioner returns from Washington trip

NORMAN — District 3 Cleveland County Commissioner Rusty Sullivan returned from Washington, D.C., this week. He serves on the steering committee for Justice and Public Safety.

“One of the main reasons for going up there is the new national health bill says you must be insured,” Sullivan said.

That could be to the county’s advantage. When prisoners are incarcerated in the county jail, the county is responsible for any health care that isn’t billed out to Medicaid or insurance.

“Criminals are the only sector in the United States that we must provide health care for,” Sullivan said.

Those costs can be high. The criminal population doesn’t tend to be the healthiest demographic in the nation. Getting health care paid for through the new health system could relieve the financial burden on counties.

But Oklahoma’s rejection of the system has put a glitch in the works. In addition, detention facilities will have to figure out how to bill health insurance for inmate costs.

“I personally think it should be part of the book-in system,” Sullivan said. “That’s one of the things I’m working on right now.”

The county can file for medical treatment and medicine reimbursements, but Sullivan said because Oklahoma opted out of the federal plan, counties need guidance from the state insurance commissioner on how to proceed.

Sullivan said meetings in Washington also included information and discussion on recidivism, re-entry and pretrial release.

“These are all things that will lessen the county’s burden of cost,” he said.

Another primary topic of discussion centered around mental illness.

Sullivan said he learned at the conference that more than two million people in prison are mentally ill. An estimated 10 million are booked into jails.

“Jails have become dumping grounds for the mentally ill,” he said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local news
  • Bad year won’t dampen peachy tradition

    PORTER — A rusting, silver-colored water tower tells visitors to this rural town between Muskogee and Tulsa that they’ve come to the “Peach Capitol of Oklahoma.” Residents of Stratford, the state’s other self-proclaimed peach capital, ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Union Market opens this fall on campus

    Shelves are being stocked as employees buzz around like busy bees and activities are in the last stages of prep as the University of Oklahoma anticipates the opening of its new eatery Union Market, located in the Oklahoma Memorial Union in ...

    July 26, 2014

  • OU football recruit under investigation in assault case

    An attorney representing Joe Mixon confirmed Friday evening that the highly-recruited Oklahoma running back is being investigated by Norman Police in connection with an incident in which a woman suffered multiple facial fractures early ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Campus Cornerassault

    Norman Police responded to an alleged aggravated assault at the Campus Corner Pickelmans Gourmet Cafe early Friday morning....

    July 26, 2014

  • OU physicist receives $1M grant

    A University of Oklahoma physicist has received a $1 million grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation to develop a quantum enhanced plasmonic sensor. The emerging field of physics known as quantum plasmonics will enable technology for sensing ...

    July 26, 2014

  • OU awarded Mellon Grant

    The University of Oklahoma has been awarded a $572,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for the development of a digital library of Latin texts of all eras. The Digital Latin Library — a Linked Open Data resource — represents a ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Veterans’ breakfast set

    Veterans are invited to a free breakfast from 6 to 11 a.m. Tuesday as Tiffany’s Restaurant, 101 S. Main St., hosts the second annual David Bolser Veteran’s Appreciation Breakfast....

    July 26, 2014

  • Junior Police Graduation First Junior Police Academy graduates

    The room went dark and a slideshow flipped through photos of children participating in the first Junior Police Academy as kids chattered excitedly, remembering what they had done over the past two weeks. Norman Police Department hosted ...

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Officials say transparency lacking in Wal-Mart zoning

    Norman city staff recently admitted to withholding information from the public regarding a controversial zoning change in southeast Norman. If approved by the city council, the proposal will allow a Wal-Mart supercenter at Cedar Lane and ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Nonprofit raises $3.9M-plus for new center

    The Center for Children and Families, a United Way of Norman partner agency, announced Thursday that it exceeded its public fundraising goal of $3.5 million and raised more than $3.9 million to complete the purchase and renovation of a ...

    July 25, 2014