Opposition mounts to state health authority
A proposed State Health Authority is picking up opposition. The plan seeks efficiencies and reductions in health care costs by combining all health plans that are state-funded under one large state-managed plan. The pushback is coming from private health plan consortiums that manage public and private plans, who say they are negotiating better deals with health providers than a large state-run health authority could. Proponents of a state authority cite similar authorities in Washington and Oregon as models. But critics like the Pacific Health Coalition, which manages public and private plans in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, say the Washington and Oregon state authorities are actually having problems and losing money. The state Dept. of Administration has contracted for consultant studies of the idea and is discussing the idea with the public employer groups.