NC State Treasurer defends health care proposal

GREENVILLE, NC (WITN) State Treasurer Dale Folwell was in the east Monday talking about the changes he wants to make to the health insurance plan for state employees, teachers, and retirees.

If given the go ahead, the plan would rework how it pays hospitals and other service providers.

The proposed changes have prompted a strong push-back from hospitals like Vidant Medical Center in Greenville.

The state legislature has also gotten involved. In March the House Health Committee voted to block the switch to the new pricing system.

Folwell says his plan comes down to saving money and making health costs more transparent.

Folwell says, "I'm not going to compromise on transparency. The fact is when I sent a request in to the UNC hospital last year and asked them for a price list of what an appendectomy or tonsillectomy or a knee replacement is supposed to cost, or any other procedure, this is what they sent me. Every single page was blacked out. And the reason is they don't want us to know what we're supposed to pay for healthcare."

Those against the changes say they are too rash and believe those changes would lower revenues and could force rural facilities to close.

The House Health Committee voted to create a commission to recommend a long-term solution to keep the plan solvent.