The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

June 29, 2012

Hospitals, insurers resigned to new reality

MERCER COUNTY — There was lots of talk out there among local health care providers on  Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling – but none of the three local hospital systems offered bold predictions or commented on the politics.

Linde Wilson, chief executive officer of Sharon Regional Health System, called the decision “historic’’ in that it changed the trajectory of the nation’s health care system.

“This decision reinforces our path of increasing quality, safety, and process efficiency,’’ Wilson said. “It will enable more than 40 million Americans without health insurance to now have access.’’

Robert C. Jackson Jr., Grove City Medical Center’s CEO, said the hospital would continue with its primary focus on providing local health care.

“Much of the law is still conceptual, and as far as patients and community is concerned, nothing has changed.’’

UPMC, which has hospitals in Farrell and Greenville, issued a statement from corporate headquarters in Pittsburgh. The ruling reinforces their current strategy to “provide higher quality at affordable costs,” UPMC said. “We know that the current model of care delivery in this country is unsustainable.”

Connie Gerba, benefits manager for Gilberts Risk Solutions in Sharon, was confident of one thing: “We believe we will see rates increase with health insurance on both individual and group policies.’’

She based her opinion on several reports issued immediately after the court ruling.

The Blue Cross/Blue Shield Association said it expected the ruling would add between $350 and $400 annually on family health care premiums in 2016, while the National Federation of Independent Businesses said it was estimating family insurance coverage costs would surge $5,000 annually by 2020.

Gerba said she wasn’t surprised the court upheld the law.

“We are now two years into this law. It would be difficult if not impossible to say ‘We’re going back to the way we were,’ ’’ she said. “It would be an administrative nightmare.’’

“I don’t think it’s going away,’’ she said. “A decade from now we could be facing what other countries have where insurance companies follow a model by their federal government and where consumers can buy something as a private citizen to augment that.

Gary Dalessandro, a financial planner for JFS Wealth Advisors in Hermitage, said the changes will be paid for by “wealthier” Americans. The law includes a 0.9 percent increase in Medicare taxes for those earning $200,000 or more as a single person and married couples earning $250,000 or more.

Text Only
Local News
  • Prison term upheld for sex offender

    A sex offender challenging a 4- to 8-year prison sentence for a probation violation lost an appeal of that sentence.

    April 23, 2014

  • Man, 24, must register as sex offender for life

    The Ohio man who exposed himself to Sharon girls on their way to school last fall must register as a sexual offender for the rest of his life when he gets out of jail.

    April 23, 2014

  • Man deemed predator – for now

    A former Sharon man was sent to the state prison system Tuesday for corrupting the morals of a teenage girl, but the question of whether his penalties under Megan’s Law will stand could be subject to future legal proceedings.

    April 23, 2014

  • Not even waste will be wasted

    Tom Darby admits he wishes the startup of the anaerobic digestion process at the Hermitage Water Pollution Control Plant had moved along much faster.

    April 23, 2014

  • 3rd Earth Fest draws families to Penn State

    Penn State Shenango’s Earth Fest has become a spring tradition for area residents.
    Families poured into downtown Sharon for the campus’ third annual sustainability celebration.

    April 22, 2014

  • Amish clean Shenango River Volunteers protect Shenango River

    Shenango River Watchers has spent more than a decade working to clean up the Shenango and improve recreational access to its water and banks.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • For many, recycling’s become way of life

    When Pennsylvania mandated curbside recycling for its larger municipalities in 1998 – those with more than 5,000 people – there was grumbling about government interference in the lives of everyday people.

    April 22, 2014

  • Many items can’t be thrown away

    The computer screen in front of you isn’t likely to do you much harm, at least not until it’s tossed in a landfill where the lead-filled components start to leak and eventually find their way into your drinking water, according to Jerry Zona, director of the Lawrence-Mercer County Recycling/Solid Waste department.

    April 22, 2014

  • David Sykes' solar panels Earthworks

    While touring Germany last year, David Sykes spotted solar panels resting in a residential back yard.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Burned using Icy Hot, woman claims

    A Grove City woman has sued Chattem Inc. and Rite Aid of Pennsylvania Inc., alleging she suffered a second-degree chemical burn using one of Chattem’s Icy Hot pain relief products.

    April 21, 2014

  • Family outing Family friendly

    “We’re No. 5’’ isn’t a sports cheer you’ll hear any time soon.
    But considering the lumps the greater area has gotten over the years on economic rankings, it’s an outright victory.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • To demolish or not Tear it down? Fix it up?

    In 2007, Richard D. Givens bought a home at 831 Knobwood Drive in Hermitage for $245,000.
    Today, the city of Hermitage is seeking the demolition of the now-vacant house, arguing the damage from water infiltration makes the structure not worth saving.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • News briefs from April 19, 2014

    April 19, 2014

  • Man admits having child porn

    A Mercer man accused of soliciting and downloading photographs of nude teenage girls pleaded guilty April 8 to sexual abuse of children for possessing child pornography.

    April 19, 2014

  • Police getting new tool to fight crime

    Sharon police working at crime scenes will be putting a powerful new investigative tool to work as soon as next month.

    April 19, 2014