Headquarters of the insurance company in Pittsburgh, , . Address 120 Fifth Ave., Downtown. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Pennsylvania Insurance Department today gave conditional approval for insurer Highmark Inc. to affiliate with the financially ailing West Penn Allegheny Health System, laying the foundation for Highmark’s plans to establish an integrated health care delivery system to compete with UPMC.
Insurance commissioner Michael Consedine, in a release announcing the decision, said, “Our goal from the outset was to have a comprehensive, transparent review in order to make a fully informed and well-founded determination. We have met that goal.”
In statement, Gov. Tom Corbett said “the goals for the commonwealth are to improve health care access, quality and affordability. Today’s decision is an important step toward making these goals a reality in Western Pennsylvania.”
The airline industry took a decisive step toward greater concentration on Thursday with the announcement that American Airlines and US Airways had agreed to merge, forming the nation’s biggest airline. The merged airline, to be called American, leaves just three major carriers — Delta Air Lines and United Airlines too — able to offer extensive domestic and international service, a sharp contraction over the last decade.
But while airline executives argue that mergers are good for passengers because they bring more service to more destinations, some economists and consumer advocates warn that all this consolidation comes at a price for travelers.
With fewer carriers, passengers have fewer options; fares and fees are now more likely to go up, particularly for flights between midsize cities. And more cities, especially smaller ones, can expect to see further reductions in service.
“It’s much easier to have tacit collusion with just three airlines,” said George Hoffer, a transportation economist at the University of Richmond. “It’s not illegal. But it’s like having a few big people in a small boat. Anyone’s decisions tie you all together.”
English: , U.S. Attorney, Governor-elect of New Jersey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
TRENTON – Gov. Christie hasn’t held a news conference about it, and his treasurer has refused to testify on it. But the Republican governor is close to privatizing the bulk of a $2.8 billion New Jersey institution.
Following a national trend already under way in Pennsylvania, Christie is negotiating a 15-year contract with a company to operate the state lottery in an effort to increase sales, thereby building more revenue for schools and state institutions.
Like Pennsylvania’s Republican Gov. Corbett, Christie bypassed the Legislature, much to its chagrin, in bidding out the system. And like Pennsylvania, New Jersey got just one bid in response to its request for proposals.
Unlike in Pennsylvania, where the pending contract was ultimately posted online and must be submitted for approval to the Democratic attorney general, New Jersey’s lottery bid is not public. Christie could just sign a contract in the next two months.
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
State and federal authorities want to block Reading Health System’s acquisition of a competitor, a move they say would harm local consumers by reducing competition.
State Attorney General Linda Kelly and the Federal Trade Commission announced Friday that they will ask a federal judge on Monday for an injunction to stop the deal for Surgical Institute of Reading LP, Spring Township.
“The proposed acquisition would result in substantially higher prices for many kinds of medical procedures,” Kelly said in a statement. ”It would be bad not just for patients but also for employers in the Reading area.”
The FTC also has issued an administrative complaint, initiating a proceeding that will determine the legality of the deal.
Kraft Foods plans to cut 1,600 positions from its North American division this year as it prepares to split into two companies, but no Lehigh Valley jobs will be lost, the packaged foods giant announced Tuesday.
Kraft said the cuts will not hit production facilities. The company has a 1-million-square-foot plant in Upper Macungie where it makes Grey Poupon mustard, A-1 Steak Sauce, T-Discs for the Tassimo hot beverage maker, natural cheese products.
The Northfield, Illinois company also has a distribution center in Bethlehem Township.
The company said no Lehigh Valley jobs are targeted in this round of cost-cutting. However, all facilities will be reviewed once the split is complete, it said.
Ten Delaware Valley underperforming supermarkets are closing shortly due to competition from Super Walmart stores.
The two stores closing closest to Pottstown are the Lionville Superfresh in Chester County and the Saucon Valley Pathmark. Saucon Valley is an area south of Allentown and Bethlehem. Other stores are mostly in New Jersey with one in Delaware and one in Yardley PA.
Superfresh and Pathmark are union operations and offer better wages and benefits than Walmart. The store closings will put 600 people out of work.
Robbins stated he is glad to still be in business considering big names like Jack Kellmer, Bailey, Banks & Biddle and Caldwell’s have closed. There are still 37 stores left on Jewelers Row in Philadelphia.
Acme closed their Collegeville Shopping Center store and moved it to 31 W. Ridge Pike, next to the new Court At Upper Providence Shopping Center, a few years ago. Now it would seem the “new store” is under performing due to competition from Giant, Target and Wegman’s and will close by the end of February.
With the departure of Acme from Ridge Pike, the closest Acme stores within a 20 mile radius of zip code 19468 are Phoenixville, Norristown, Lansdale and King of Prussia.
The Wayne Acme is also on the chopping block along with three stores in New Jersey and one in Maryland.
Another big empty building! Ironically, the old store in Collegeville was doing much better! Just proves the grass is not always greener!