A raucous and volatile meeting on health care for Shreveport employees and retirees ended with the Health Care Trust Fund Board voting 5-3 to support a 3-tiered network of care. This proposal puts the Willis Knighton System and its doctors into a tier 2 plan.

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Ochsners LSU Health and Christus are in the tier 1 plan. This proposal drew loud objections from dozens of current and retired city workers. Many from the police and fire department and their spouses stepped up to the microphone to call for an open and transparent process. Many pointed to the fact that Willis Knighton was never able to submit an RFP to be judged on an even playing field with the other providers.

Things got so testy during the meeting that a police officer was called to the front of the room and asked to remove the microphone so the crowd could not step up and interrupt the discussion.

What Will Happen Now?

Shreveport Police Officers Association President Michael Carter told the Board he will bring litigation against the city for how this process was improperly handled and he told them it is time to enhance benefits for his members, not take away benefits.

But the Shreveport City Council will now take a look at this proposed plan.

Health Care Board Member Bill Wilson, a retired police officer also told the panel "we must do what is fair and this is not fair. He also told the Mayor "this is a political year Mr. Perkins. Do you want to 2nd my motion and move on or are we gonna crash and burn in this city." Perkins did not say anything. He only smiled. In fact he was mostly silent at the meeting until it was time to vote and he voted yes for the 3-tiered system.

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