Have a gander at two important stories in today's Post-Gazette. The first, from the sage Jim O'Toole, takes a look at Dan Onorato and Tom Corbett's different plans on Pennsylvania's adultBasic health insurance plan for low-income families.
At a news conference Wednesday at the Birmingham Free Clinic, Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato, the Democratic nominee, added his voice to calls for the state's tax-exempt Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurers to extend their support for the program.
"This is a big issue for the state," Mr. Onorato said before adding his name to a petition urging the insurance firms to prolong their commitment.
The plan, adultBasic, is dependent on a five-year agreement with the insurers that expires at the end of this year. Mr. Onorato called for a three-year extension until the plan can be supplanted by provisions of the federal health care legislation in 2014.
In testimony before the Legislature, the insurance companies have agreed to a six-month extension but are opposed to a more open-ended renewal. Attorney General Tom Corbett, the Republican candidate, supports the six-month extension but opposes the demands to extend it to three years, a spokesman said.
"To renew it until 2014 could be fiscally irresponsible, particularly since we don't know the full cost of what the national health care bill will be," said Kevin Harley, a spokesman for Mr. Corbett's campaign.
Filed by Attorney Richard C. Angino of Harrisburg, the suit alleges that the criminal investigation was politically motivated. It was conducted by prosecutors from the office of Mr. Corbett, who is running for governor.
Corbett spokesman Nils Frederiksen said evidence, not politics, drove the charges.
The suit alleges that Mr. DeWeese, who was then majority leader, conspired with Mr. Corbett to determine "who would be prosecuted and who would not be, who would retain jobs and who would be fired, who would have their counsel fees paid and who would not, and who would retain [employment] benefits and who would not."
Mr. DeWeese eventually was charged in an offshoot of the investigation.
Mr. Angino alleges that the defendants wrongfully fired his client, damaged his reputation and deprived him of his right to due process.
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