Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on witf’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Hosted by: Scott LaMar



Smart Talk Friday is a fast-paced program featuring thoughtful and engaging conversations about the politics, policy and people who are shaping Pennsylvania’s future. Host Matt Paul and witf Capitol Bureau Chief Mary Wilson invite your multimedia interaction before, during and after the program.

Hosted by: Matt Paul and Mary Wilson



witf introduces 'Smart Talk Friday' radio program

STFriday: doctors' priorities and firefighters' concerns

Written by Matt Paul, Reporter/Producer | Dec 19, 2013 3:26 PM

What to look for on Smart Talk Friday:

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Dr. Bruce MacLeod

From prescription drug abuse to medical school debt, 2013 was a year of advocacy at the Pennsylvania Medical Society.

witf Capitol Bureau Chief Mary Wilson catches up with PAMED President Bruce MacLeod to discuss some of the high-profile resolutions the group passed at its annual convention this fall.

PAMED is urging lawmakers to ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors, seeking out new ways to respond to the high demand for psychiatric beds at hospitals across the state, and recognizing gun violence as a public health issue. We'll find out what's driving these and other policy positions on the show.

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Lou Barletta

Continuing the health care theme, we'll also hear from midstate Congressman Lou Barletta, a Republican, who's leading the charge to exempt volunteer firefighters from the Shared Responsibility Provision of the Affordable Care Act.

That's the so-called "pay-or-play" employer mandate. Volunteer firefighters are considered employees for tax purposes, and many fire companies are concerned that they'll have to either turn volunteers away or close their doors if they are considered large employers under the ACA. Since volunteer firefighters save Pennsylvania taxpayers an estimated $6 billion each year, officials from both sides of the aisle and all levels of government are raising their concerns with the Internal Revenue Service.

Then we'll discuss the political implications of the new bipartisan budget deal on Capitol Hill with Elizabethtown College Professor Wes McDonald. The federal government's first budget in years passed the House (332 - 94) and the Senate (64 - 36).

The Salvation Army Capital City Region will add a dose of holiday spirit, as we round out the program by checking in with the volunteers who've been wrapping and distributing holiday gifts for families in need this Christmas season.

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The Salvation Army's Kathy Anderson-Martin (far right) talks with volunteers

Listen to the program:

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Comments: 2

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-12-20 09:49

    E-mail from Jeff:

    "Who wouldn't want everyone to have affordable, quality health care?? There will be a way "there" and working together the US will find it's way.

    But your negative reporting is just that ... negative and scaring people. I cite your volunteer fire company issue as a red herring. A change is under review and your ridiculous fear is just that ... a ridiculous fear based on illogical thinking.

    The reason that this bill is getting support is because there is NOTHING to fear. What you are experiencing is that an extremely complex law and system will be tweaked over time to be better than when it was first rolled out.

    I challenge WITF and all press to start reporting on not just how the ACA will be tweaked to make it better but how it is working well already."

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-12-20 09:59

    E-mail from Jeff:

    "OMG ... another windbag just talking non-sense and making illogical statements.

    WITF should stay away from these guys and stick with balanced news articles.

    Sheesh!!! At least point out to Windbag-Wes the reality of this puffed-up claim about cancelled health care policies is that the INTENT was to ensure that a minimum amount of coverage would be provided/required. The percentage of folks affected is small and ACA is being to tweaked to let these folks have their inferior policies."

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