Laughlin seeks to reverse decision on medical expenses

State Sen. Owen Laughlin, R-Woodward, has filed legislation that seeks to reverse last week’s state Supreme Court ruling that makes counties liable for the cost of medical care for jail inmates even if the health condition existed prior to being jailed.

“This court ruling could literally bankrupt some county governments, especially in rural areas like my district, so it is imperative that the Legislature fix this problem,” said Laughlin, who represents northwest Oklahoma and the panhandle.

“My bill will make it clear that an inmate in custody at a county jail is responsible for the cost of his medical care for pre-existing conditions or self-inflicted injuries,” he said.

Laughlin, the Senate’s Republican floor leader, has filed Senate Bill 1168 for the 2008 legislative session.
Senator Laughlin was first elected in November 1996 to the 27th Senatorial district which includes all or part of 8 counties and stretches from Fairview and Okeene in the East, to Boise City and Kenton on the borders of Colorado and New Mexico in the West.
Senator Laughlin graduated from Southern Nazarene University in 1973 with a BA Degree in Political Science, and from Oklahoma City University in 1976 with a JD Degree in Law.  Senator Laughlin is a Certified Flight Instructor and a licensed Attorney in Texas and Oklahoma, and has practiced law in Northwest Oklahoma.  He has also been in the banking business and managed real estate investments since his graduation.  He has a daughter living in Tulsa.  For more information you may visit his public legislative office online by clicking here or his private campaign site by clicking here.