(Raleigh, N.C.) – State Treasurer Dale R. Folwell, CPA, issued the following statement after it was announced today that UNC Health Care and Atrium Health have suspended discussions to merge the two health care systems:
“I've consistently said that I am about 'k-n-o-w,' not 'n-o.' It's now obvious that many others agreed there was a lack of transparency surrounding the proposed UNC/Atrium merger. We never acquired enough information to ensure that the combination of these two health care entities would not have a negative impact on the taxpayers of North Carolina. I was also concerned that this proposal involving billions in state assets never came before the Council of State, whose primary function is to review the disposition of state property."
Treasurer Folwell recently asked representatives of UNC Health Care to provide the State Health Plan with a $1 billion performance bond guaranteeing that any merger with Atrium Health would not increase medical costs for the plan and North Carolina taxpayers.
In public statements, representatives of UNC Health Care declined to provide any performance guarantees that the combined entities would, in fact, be able to lower health care costs.
The State Health Plan, a division of the N.C. Department of State Treasurer, provides health care coverage to almost 730,000 teachers, state employees, retirees, current and former lawmakers, state university and community college personnel, and their dependents.