October 23, 2014 |
PARENTHOOD should be affordable in this country, but the cost of raising a child from birth to adulthood is now a quarter of a million dollars and projected to double by the time today's toddlers reach their teens. Will having kids soon be out of reach economically for many American families? A recent report from the Center for American Progress found that middle-class families are feeling an unprecedented economic squeeze - caught between stagnating wages and the exploding cost of basics like housing, health care and children's education.
October 21, 2014 |
NATIONAL polling on the Nov. 4 midterm elections confirms a doleful trend that's been firming up all year: Voters aren't enthusiastic about their choices - on either side. A Gallup Poll last week found that only 32 percent of voters said they felt "extremely motivated" to go to the polls this year, down sharply from the 50 percent who were fired up for the 2010 congressional election. Democrats are less enthusiastic than Republicans, but even GOP voters say they're less excited than they were four years ago. Yet, it's a consequential election - control of Congress hangs in the balance, and with it a host of important issues, including health care, environmental regulation and immigration reform.
October 19, 2014 |
A federal bankruptcy judge on Friday allowed the owners of Atlantic City's bankrupt Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort to void its contract with its 1,100 union workers. Whether the $15 million in savings will be enough to keep the doors of the troubled casino open is nowhere near a sure bet. In a decision delivered in a Delaware courtroom, Judge Kevin Gross granted a request by the casino's owners, Trump Entertainment Resorts, to end the contract, cutting health and pension benefits.
October 13, 2014 |
Stephen Klasko hadn't been running the Thomas Jefferson University empire for long before his thoughts turned to Sidney Kimmel. A Philadelphia native who became a billionaire in the fashion industry, Kimmel had given generously to Jefferson in the 1990s but not much since despite funding the performing arts center that bears his name. But Klasko, who last month hit the one-year mark as university president and health system chief executive officer, knew Kimmel had built Jones New York by aggressively expanding and thinking outside the box. So his hunch was the two would get along.
October 8, 2014 |
AFTER MONTHS of threats, Bill Green officially declared war on Philadelphia public school teachers. In a bold but unsurprising move, the School Reform Commission, chaired by Green, voted yesterday to unilaterally cancel the teachers union contract and impose health-care-benefits changes - during a hastily called 9:30 a.m. meeting - sparking outrage from union leaders, elected officials and education activists. District officials said the benefits changes will save about $44 million this year and $200 million over the next four years, which will be redirected to schools for key resources, such as counselors and nurses.
September 27, 2014 |
Abington Health is exploring a "unique" partnership with Center City's Jefferson Health System, Abington told employees in a letter Wednesday from chief executive Larry Merlis and chief of staff John J. Kelly. The Montgomery County health system said the talks were part of a broader effort to find a partner. "We are pleased to inform you that Abington Health is exploring options for aligning with another major health system through a strategic partnership that will ensure Abington will thrive in the future as we care for our patients in the rapidly evolving health-care environment," the letter said.
September 4, 2014
AN AGREEMENT reached last week between the federal government and Gov. Corbett on an expanded Medicaid program means that Pennsylvania will join the ranks of states whose poorer citizens aren't doomed to a short and/or sick life because they can't afford health care. When the federal government offered Medicaid expansion to states as part of the Affordable Care Act, the majority of Republican governors rejected that offer, claiming it would be too expensive to expand eligibility, despite the fact that the feds would pick up almost all of the tab: 100 percent in the first year, and 90 percent thereafter.
September 3, 2014 |
Obamacare, organic soy milk, and birth control pills have proven to be a volatile mix for Eden Foods, a small, highly regarded natural foods company. Last year, the Clinton, Mich., company's owner, Michael Potter, sued the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, objecting to a provision in the Affordable Care Act that requires company health insurance plans to cover preventive medicine - including contraception. Citing his Catholic beliefs, Potter said he should not be forced to help his employees obtain birth control, or any other "lifestyle drugs" such as Viagra and hair-loss remedies.
August 30, 2014 |
HARRISBURG - Ending a yearlong negotiation, the Obama administration on Thursday approved Gov. Corbett's alternative Medicaid expansion proposal, a step that could extend health-care benefits to roughly 600,000 uninsured Pennsylvanians. In what was described as a five-year demonstration project, Pennsylvania got the go-ahead to use federal money to pay private insurers to provide health care to uninsured individuals - many in low-wage jobs. The Obama administration praised Pennsylvania for joining other states that opted into the program under the Affordable Care Act. Corbett administration officials called the agreement a successful compromise.
August 29, 2014
NOT EVERYONE is outraged at the whopping news that Burger King is reincorporating in Canada in order to avoid taxes. The fast-food giant just bought the Canadian-based Tim Horton's doughnut chain and as part of the deal will keep the BK headquarters in Miami but incorporate the new entity in Canada, which has a lower effective tax rate than the U.S. Supporters of the move say that it's no big deal, that Burger King owes it to its shareholders to...