January 1, 2015
ISSUE | UTILITIES Reflecting on PGW moves by Council Gas Workers Local 686 lauds City Council's decision to kill the Philadelphia Gas Works sale. While Mayor Nutter excluded stakeholders, Council involved everyone in meetings with its consultant. Council President Darrell L. Clarke and his colleagues had concerns that PGW's privatization would lead to the loss of family-sustaining jobs with health care and put the city's poor at risk. It also was a bad deal for PGW workers, with no protections for jobs, pensions, or health care.
December 28, 2014 |
Even at the age of 91, I can write an opinion piece for this newspaper in about an hour. Data from respected institutions and researchers show that the following things occur in the U.S. during each hour. Sixty-eight people die from heart disease, our number-one cause of mortality for more than 75 years. Sixty-five succumb to cancer, our number two killer during the same decades. Twenty-seven women are found to have breast cancer, and eighteen of them will get treatments that don't work.
December 21, 2014 |
For the better part of 52 years, Joseph Rosati Plumbing & Heating has offered its employees fully paid health insurance. "My father prided himself in being able to offer health benefits to his employees," says Regina Weinhardt, who, along with her brothers, Joe Jr. and Anthony, took over the company after their father died in 2007. But when the company was ready to renew its group policy last month, Weinhardt got a bad case of sticker shock - an 87 percent rate increase. Her broker was able to find Weinhardt a more affordable policy with less coverage.
December 19, 2014 |
Nurse Shauna Trapani's patient was a deadweight - literally - the last time she injured her back at work so badly that she had to miss a day of work. Trapani, 35, had to roll a deceased patient from the emergency room at Crozer-Chester Medical Center, where she works, to the hospital's morgue, a trip that involves pushing a bed up a ramp, around a 90-degree turn, and up another ramp. "It's very physical work, and sometimes you just can't do it," said Trapani, who said she has suffered from work-related back pain for a decade.
December 4, 2014
THIS WEEK, the state launched enrollment for its new Medicaid program that provides health care for low-income people. Before lamenting the downsides of "Healthy PA," we must applaud the fact that 600,000 Pennsylvanians who had fallen through bureaucratic cracks last year under the Affordable Care Act will now be able to have health-care coverage. The newly eligible are primarily poor working adults, like home health-care workers, waitresses, construction workers and others who are raising families on low incomes and can't get coverage through their employer.
December 3, 2014 |
HARRISBURG - Toll-free phone lines were jammed, and low-income workers streamed into sign-up sites as enrollment opened Monday for expanded health insurance coverage under Medicaid. An estimated 600,000 people - most working at low-wage jobs - are eligible for Medicaid through Healthy PA, the state's alternative to Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. First-day enrollment numbers were unavailable, Kait Gillis, a spokeswoman for the Department of Human Services, said at the end of the day. Even late in the day, callers to the state's toll-free line were told to call back later because of the high volume of calls.
December 1, 2014 |
When you ask residential developers in Philadelphia who their target audience is, the typical response is "eds and meds," meaning those who work in education and health care. Both seem impervious to the economic stresses and strains that affect other business sectors, so developers who focus on building for-sale and rental units near medical centers and universities are not taking great risks. Health care is the fastest growing because America is aging rapidly and demand for services is increasing.
November 30, 2014 |
It took Holly Phares 27 days and 20 hours to enroll in health insurance during 2013's disastrous rollout of the Affordable Care Act website. She doesn't expect a repeat of her slog through last year's cyber hell. But the choral director for Tabernacle United Church in West Philadelphia will be shopping the marketplace for a better deal rather than simply reenrolling in her Independence Blue Cross platinum PPO. "They say there are twice as many choices" in the marketplace, says Phares, 51. "I'm just not going to stick with Blue Cross.
November 23, 2014 |
Rita Hodge Sellers, 84, a longtime nurse, health administrator and educator, died Wednesday, Nov. 5, at Normandy Farms Estates retirement center in Blue Bell. Mrs. Sellers was known by family and friends as a strong mentor who was passionate about helping others, recalled her daughter, Suzanne Rita Sellers. She described her mother as someone who worked to keep herself healthy and whose favorite hobby was traveling. "She visited Rome, China, and Africa," said Suzanne Sellers. "I still remember when she and my dad took me to Paris as a graduation present when I was in college.
November 19, 2014 |
HARRISBURG - The state Department of Public Welfare chief said Monday that her agency was prepared for an onslaught when enrollment for "Healthy PA," Pennsylvania's Medicaid expansion alternative, begins in less than two weeks. The website dedicated to enrolling hundreds of thousands of uninsured low-income Pennsylvanians under the Affordable Care Act is seeing a spike in users following the launch of a $2 million statewide ad blitz. The state anticipates that about 600,000 people - many of them the working poor - are eligible to get coverage beginning Jan. 1 under the Corbett administration's proposal, which uses Medicaid funding to pay private insurers.