A task force formed to consider health care costs in the Kenai Peninsula Borough will convene for its first meeting Wednesday.
Its inaugural meeting will focus primarily on organizing the group, identifying goals and providing information on health care costs, said Borough Mayor Mike Navarre.
Then, the group will set a schedule of meetings that Navarre said should center around health care costs. Navarre said he hoped to address issues of cutting costs for all user groups, rather than focusing on public employees or those in the private sector.
“Part of the problem with health care for a long time was the cost shifting,” he said. “I might negotiate a better rate for public employees, but then that gets pushed onto another group. Unless you can cut the costs, you’re just shifting them.”
The borough assembly appropriated $200,000 for the task force during a February meeting. It’s the second time Navarre has asked for money to conduct a task force on costs. The first time, in 2012, funding was allocated but allowed to lapse back into the borough’s general fund after it wasn’t used. Navarre said he wasn’t sure how many times the group would meet.
“We’ll figure that out during the (first) meeting,” he said.
The meeting will be open to the public and Navarre said time had been set aside for public comment. It will begin at 7 p.m. at the borough assembly building, 144 N. Binkley Street in Soldotna.
— Rashah McChesney