Abele-O-Meter

Combine state, local public employees into buying pool for health insurance


"Abele pledged to work with stakeholders from all sides to combine employees from Milwaukee County, the State of Wisconsin, local municipalities, school districts, and other government entities to establish and focus on growing a purchasing pool large enough to negotiate lower costs in the health care marketplace."


Sources:

Campaign news release

Subjects: Government Efficiency, Health Care

Updates:

Some preliminary steps, but won't be done during about-to-end one-year term

Updated: Wednesday, March 21st, 2012 | By Tom Kertscher

It seems like talking about consolidation in government has always been much easier than accomplishing it.

As a candidate for Milwaukee County executive in 2011, Chris Abele talked about it by pledging to work with various authorities to combine employees of the county, state, municipalities, school districts and other governmental entities into a single buying pool for health insurance.

The idea was that a large buying group would have the leverage to negotiate lower health care costs.

With his one-year term coming to an end, and Abele unopposed in his bid for a full four-year term in the April 2012 election, we asked Abele chief of staff Amber Moreen in Februrary 2012 about the status of this promise.

She said Abele has taken a step toward consolidation by -- through his 2012 budget -- putting all county employees on one health insurance plan. That's a necessary step in order to "collaborate with other entities to reduce costs,” she said.

But that's not working "with stakeholders from all sides” to create a buying pool, which was Abele's promise.

Moreen said in Abele has also "reached out” to Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Milwaukee Public Schools superintendent Gregory Thornton about pooling health care plans.

In late March 2012, Abele spokesman Brendan Conway told us no further progress had been made.

While the promise may be achieved in a new term, the promise was made for the one-year term about to expire.

We rate this Promise Broken.

Sources:

Chris Abele campaign, buying pool news release, March 20, 2011

Email interview, Milwaukee County executive chief of staff Amber Moreen, Feb. 2, 2012  

Interview, Milwaukee County executive communications director Brendan Conway, March 20, 2012

Some steps, but unlikely to be fulfilled in this term

Updated: Friday, February 3rd, 2012 | By Tom Kertscher

It seems like talking about consolidation in government has always been much easier than accomplishing it.

As a candidate for Milwaukee County executive, Chris Abele talked about it by pledging to work with various authorities to combine employees of the county, state, municipalities, school districts and other governmental entities into a single buying pool for health insurance.

The idea was that a large buying group would have the leverage to negotiate lower health care costs.

With his one-year term coming to an end, and Abele unopposed in his bid for a full four-year term in the April 2012 election, we asked Abele chief of staff Amber Moreen for the status of this promise.

She said Abele has taken a step toward consolidation by -- through his 2012 budget -- putting all county employees on one health insurance plan. That's a necessary step in order to "collaborate with other entities to reduce costs,” she said.

But that"s not working "with stakeholders from all sides” to create a buying pool, which was Abele's promise.

Moreen said Abele has also "reached out” to Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Milwaukee Public Schools superintendent Gregory Thornton about pooling health care plans.

Ordinarily, that might rate an In the Works. But with the term nearing a close, we'll put it at Stalled … and on the way to being broken.

Sources:

Chris Abele campaign, buying pool news release, March 20, 2011

Email interview, Milwaukee County executive chief of staff Amber Moreen, Feb. 2, 2012

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