SAN FRANCISCO - As he had threatened, the federal receiver charged with bringing California's prison health care system up to constitutional muster yesterday sought a court order demanding $8 billion from the state government to build health care facilities.

The receiver, Clark Kelso, has broad powers backed by the federal judge who ordered the state prison hospital system into receivership after ruling that California had failed to implement a 2002 settlement agreement in a case that argued that health care services provided to inmates were so inadequate they violated prisoners' constitutional rights.

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