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Monday, March 08, 2010

Ohio Death Row Inmate Tries Suicide: State To Pay Healthcare And Hospitalization Until March 16 Execution

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- At last count, there were about 2.8 million Ohioans under age 65 without health insurance coverage. Convicted murderer Lawrence Reynolds Jr. is not among them. He is in a Youngstown hospital being nursed back to health -- and state taxpayers will be paying all the medical bills. Gov. Ted Strickland delayed Reynolds' Tuesday execution for a week while the Death Row inmate mends after apparently attempting to take his own life Sunday. He swallowed pills that have not been identified, nor is it known how he got them. Prison officials are investigating. The Akron Beacon Journal is reporting: "Reynolds' condition has been upgraded from serious to stable and he is regaining consciousness, a prison official said this afternoon. He is being treated at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Youngstown."

Reynolds was convicted of killing Loretta Foster in 1994. The 67-year-old victim was his neighbor in an Akron suburb. The execution was postponed because of the medical emergency. This situation is so bizarre: Somebody who wanted to die is in the hospital being cared for until he can be put to death. Meanwhile, thousands of law abiding Ohioans who want to live are condemned to disease or death because they can't afford health insurance. Statistics show that the largest chunk of uninsured Ohioans, about 76%, are working, or are members of working families. Their wages can't pay the health insurance premiums, or their employers don't offer affordable plans, often because small business can't pay the expenses. The other 24% of uninsured Ohioans are unemployed, many because of the Great Recession. Or they have chronic conditions or disabilities and can't find coverage. But if you are on Death Row, you can obtain the best care in the world even though its only meant to keep you alive until your date with the executioner. If you want to learn more about healthcare, check out this report called Ohioans without Health Insurance.

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