Businesses organize to fight high health care costs - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Businesses organize to fight high health care costs

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January 26, 2006

Albany -- Albany Industries concerned about the high cost of health care have formed a non profit organization to try to find a solution.

Albany's Procter and Gamble, Miller Brewing, and Cooper Tire manufacturing plant employees started the Coalition for Affordable and Competitive Healthcare, or CACH. Now they are asking all Albany businesses concerned about their healthcare costs to join them.

Albany's big three manufacturers found their employee health care costs were higher than any of their other plants in the United States. The industries want businesses to organize to put competition into health care, to keep down costs.

CACH Spokesperson Vince Falcione said "We are about what is it going to take to make us more competitive so we can help this area be more competitive when it comes to economic development. And do what's right for the citizens here in Southwest Georgia."

Industry leaders say the closings of Bob's Candies, Merck, and Flint River Textiles show what can happen because of high health care costs in Albany.

Representatives from 19 Albany businesses attended a CACH recruitment meeting Wednesday.

The tax exempt organization plans to collect donations and lobby Georgia legislators to put more competition into healthcare, and control costs.

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