Jindal Health Outsourcing Contract

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – After a shake-up on the House budget committee, Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration is returning to lawmakers to ask permission to outsource a state employee health insurance plan.

Jindal's top budget adviser shelved a vote last week when it became clear the contract between the Office of Group Benefits and Blue Cross/Blue Shield was short the votes needed for passage.

Since then, two Republican opponents of the contract were ousted from the House Appropriations Committee, whose approval is needed along with the Senate Finance Committee before Jindal can proceed.

The two budget committees are scheduled Friday to again consider the hiring of Blue Cross to manage the health plan that covers 62,000 workers, retirees and their dependents.

Jindal proposes the idea as a cost-cutting move, but critics question the savings estimates.

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