Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances
On the “Watch List”:
• The West Penn takeover. Another day, another contradictory projection from the folks at Highmark Inc. The insurance giant now says it likely could return West Penn Allegheny Health System to profitability next year. That's at odds with a prior projection that the turnaround could take up to five years. Which is it? What is it? Who's on first?
• UPMC. The health care giant says Highmark's latest projection “is less about saving West Penn than it is about Highmark ensuring its domination of the market to the detriment of competing health insurers, community hospitals and UPMC.” Talk about the raven chiding blackness. Or as the French would say, “The hospital mocks the charity.”
• Pittsburgh's mayoral race. Six Democrats and one Republican have filed nominating petitions for the May primary. If past is prologue, the prevailing Democrat will be the city's new mayor. But the real fight could be in the courts over whether money raised in other campaigns can be used in this campaign. Let the gamesmanship begin.
• Those texting citations: Pittsburgh was behind only Philadelphia for the number of texting-while-driving tickets. Police in the seven-county Pittsburgh area wrote 196 citations during the law's first year. But something surely is amiss here. After all, most of us see more than 196 people texting and driving in any given week, don't we?