Industry leaders say no "hidden agenda" - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Industry leaders say no "hidden agenda"

April 11, 2008

Albany -- Albany Industry leaders fire back at Phoebe Putney Hospital's C-E-O who accused them of trying to mislead the public about health care costs.

Albany Procter and Gamble officials insist their studies show P & G workers here pay more for health care than employees at their plants across the nation. Other large industries in Albany agree and say that's hurting economic development in South Georgia.

Earlier this week Phoebe C-E-O Joel Wernick claimed independent studies show Albany health care costs are not higher than the national average and accused industry leaders of having a hidden agenda in their campaign. Coalition for Affordable and Competitive Health Care President Vince Falcione said  "our health care costs are not competitive. We pay more than our sister plants that we compete with, and we need to change that so that we can grow volume here at this site. Is it an agenda? Absolutely. Is it hidden? Nothing could be more from the truth. It is not hidden."

Falcione says reforms to the state Certificate of Need laws are a good start but more can be done to lower South Georgia health care costs.  And he will continue to speak to community groups, pushing for change to bring about lower health care costs for South Georgians

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