By MELINDA DESLATTE
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Lawmakers are weighing whether to support Gov. Bobby Jindal's plan to hire a private company to manage a state employee health insurance plan that covers 62,000 people.
The House and Senate budget committees vote Thursday on the proposed contract between the Office of Group Benefits and Blue Cross/Blue Shield.
The Jindal administration says the outsourcing plan would save money. Critics question the savings estimates and worry the change could harm health benefits for workers.
A previous vote on the proposal was delayed, raising questions about whether it had run into trouble. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Fannin said he sought the delay because lawmakers wanted more time to review the lengthy contract.
Jindal hadn't intended to seek budget committee approval, but the attorney general's office said the contract required it.
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