Thursday, November 13, 2008

CAGW Questions Healthcare Plan Options Presented to the Dougherty County Commission

PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On behalf of its 24,965 members and supporters in Georgia, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today called for the public release of the details related to how insurance broker Kirk Rouse made recommendations to the Dougherty County Commission on changes to the health care plan for county employees. CAGW President Tom Schatz sent a letter to the county commissioners expressing concerns and asking questions about the process.

Schatz wrote, "The Commission ... has an obligation to select a plan through an open, fair and competitive bid process that provides the best possible quality health care at the lowest possible cost. ... Mr. Rouse owes the Commissioners and the taxpaying public a full accounting of how he arrived at his recommendations. He should reveal all options that were available to him. Simply comparing various forms of exclusive deals for Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital is not the kind of rigorous exercise that the county employees and the public deserve."

The letter questioned whether or not a formal request for proposal was issued, whether competitive bids were considered that did not require exclusive bids for Phoebe Putney or Palmyra Medical Center, what kind of criteria Mr. Rouse used, and how he reached his recommendation for the commission.

Mr. Schatz's letter added, "Basic free market principles dictate that identifying an alternative health care plan that offers a choice should provide better savings than an exclusive arrangement with either hospital. Dougherty County taxpayers deserve the benefit of any additional savings that can be achieved by identifying a plan that offers in-network choice. Mr. Rouse has not done his job until he has explored this option for the county employees and taxpayers."

The Dougherty County Commission is scheduled to meet Monday, November 17, 2008, at 10:00 a.m. at the Central Square Government Center, 222 Pine Avenue, Albany, Georgia to make a final decision on the proposed changes to the County employee health care plan.

Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.

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