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Jindal's plan to sell LA health plan to private company draws attacks

The Times-Picayune, April 27, 2011

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s chief budget adviser defended the administration's plan to sell a state-run health insurance plan to a private company, rebutting a chorus of critics Tuesday who said the move would result in higher premiums and lower benefits for state workers and retirees. Commissioner of Administration Paul Rainwater said there has been “a bit of a misinformation campaign” about the plans to privatize the Office of Group Benefits, which provides health coverage for more than 250,000 state workers, retirees and their dependents. Louisiana is currently the only state besides Utah that operates its own health insurance plan, Rainwater said. “The real question at issue is, should the state of Louisiana -- fairly unique among states -- continue to function as a health insurance company?” Rainwater said. Members of the Senate Retirement Committee complained that the administration has been slow in providing information about the proposed sale, and said the agency is well-run and has low administrative costs.