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BUSINESS
October 31, 2014 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
Abington Health in Montgomery County and Center City's Jefferson Health System have taken a step closer to a merger by signing a letter of intent to work toward a final agreement, the two organizations said Wednesday. The proposed deal, which could be completed next year, comes just months after Jefferson split amicably from its former longtime partner, the highly profitable Main Line Health system. Stephen Klasko, Jefferson's president and chief executive, said the structure of the proposed merger with Abington would allow him to achieve something that was not possible with Main Line Health.
NEWS
October 29, 2014 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
CALL IT a leap of faith or call it a risky move. The Philadelphia School District announced yesterday that it would distribute $15 million to schools on Monday from projected health-care savings with the teachers union, despite an injunction temporarily blocking the changes. Common Pleas Judge Nina Wright Padilla last week ruled in favor of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers' request to stay all changes to their health-care benefits. The district and the School Reform Commission said they would appeal the decision.
NEWS
October 26, 2014 | By Suzette Parmley, Inquirer Staff Writer
ATLANTIC CITY - A trio of Trump Taj Mahal waitresses - Susan Blight, Patti Pinchock, and Valerie McMorris - have been with the casino since it opened on April 2, 1990. All three said Friday they sense its last days are on the near horizon. "We just feel violated," said Pinchock, 53, of Egg Harbor Township, who held up a sign that read, "Healthcare RIP. " Added McMorris, 45, of Galloway Township: "A Delaware judge, with a stroke of a pen, took away our health-care benefits. Instead of being part of the middle class, we are now the working poor.
NEWS
October 23, 2014 | BY ADAM SCHICKEDANZ & NEAL HALFON
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.
NEWS
October 21, 2014 | BY DOYLE MCMANUS
  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.
NEWS
October 19, 2014 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
October 13, 2014 | By Paul Jablow, For The Inquirer
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.
NEWS
October 8, 2014 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
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.
BUSINESS
September 27, 2014 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
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.
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