Industry leaders decry health costs - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Industry leaders decry health costs

November 18, 2005

Albany-- Albany's major industry leaders say high health care costs are stunting business growth in South Georgia.

Human resource directors from Procter and Gamble, Miller Brewing, and Cooper Tire met with Phoebe Putney and H.C.A. Palmyra executives, to try to find solutions.

The plants found that in 2003 and 2004 their employees health care costs are higher than any of their other locations in America.

The Industry leaders say these high costs are hurting economic growth, and could force industries here to relocate. "When is the last time we brought in manufacturing,we brought in industry into this area?" asked Miller Brewing Plant Manager Chris Thelen. "Other than losing Bobs Candies, other than losing Flint River. We need to be talking about doing things to encourage industry to either expand when they are here, and to come into the area."

The industry leaders say a lack of competition in South Georgia health care has driven up prices. Phoebe Putney hospital executives say they need to study the business's entire health care findings, to offer help.

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