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Group Health to hold crucial vote on Kaiser acquisition Saturday

Seattle's Group Health Cooperative is expected to cast votes Saturday on a possible acquisition by Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente, according to The Seattle Times.

Officials and union leaders of the regional co-op say the acquisition is a smart move for the future of the organization, according to the report. Opponents of the plan believe they don't have enough information to make an informed decision, according to the report.

The co-op, which was once called radical and socialist for its integrated care and coverage when it was founded in 1947, has 27,000 registered voting members who must approve the deal by a two-thirds majority. A final vote is due by March 9.

If approved, Kaiser Permanente will pay approximately $1.8 billion to create a new nonprofit called Group Health Community Foundation. It would also agree to pay $1 billion over the next 10 years to upgrade facilities, add staff and improve technology and research in Washington, according to the report.

Eight town hall meetings have been hosted across the state to answer questions among the co-op's members about the potential deal, according to the report. The acquisition contract is publicly available here.


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