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Judge permanently blocks health care contract award to Blue Cross rival
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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- A judge has blocked the awarding of a health-care contract to state workers to a rival of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island.

Superior Court Judge Netti Vogel temporarily blocked the state's agreement with United Healthcare of New England two days ago. She cemented that order by issuing a permanent injunction today.

Blue Cross had asked for the injunction, claiming the state's dealing was unfair. Vogel agreed, saying the process was riddled with errors.

Attorneys for the state says they'll appeal the ruling.

Vogel says she'll now consider whether to force the state to restart the bid process. The state says it doesn't have enough time to do that, since the existing deal ends at the end of this month.

The company that wins the bid would manage health insurance for more than 50-thousand state employees, retirees and their families.

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