The first big task for the Health Reform Legislative Task Force, the task force pushed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson to examine alternatives to the private option, is hiring a consultant. The task force met today and examined and discussed six proposals (with price tags ranging from $475,000 to $2.2 million).  

The task force narrowed it down to four: Health Management Associates, Navigant Consulting, Public Consulting Group, and the Stephen Group. Each company will now give full presentations on their proposals to the task force—two on Wednesday and two on Thursday.

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You can see the full proposals here. Nothing particularly stands out at this point in terms of reading the tea leaves — these are companies trying to land a gig and it’s not clear whether some might be more or less friendly to continuing some version of the private option.  The questions from legislators later this week when the companies present may give some window into what sorts of directions are being considered.