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)

Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: What's behind hospital mergers?; Latest property tax relief bill

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Jul 21, 2014 2:33 PM

What to look for on Smart Talk Tuesday, July 22, 2014:

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Pinnacle Health consolidates with the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.  Holy Spirit Health System affiliates with Geisinger Health System.  Good Samaritan Hospital in Lebanon joins up with WellSpan Health.  There are just three of the latest examples of hospitals and health systems looking for partners in a changing healthcare environment.

The mergers, consolidations, and affiliations have been going on for some time but pressures to keep healthcare costs down and keep up with the latest treatments and technology seem to be driving more of them.

Tuesday's Smart Talk examines why bigger is apparently better in the eyes of the health systems teaming up and what it could mean for patients.

Appearing on the program is Andy Carter, president and CEO of the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania.

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Andy Carter, president and CEO of the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania

Also, the latest property tax reform proposal is being made by Rep. Dave Reed (R-Indiana).

On Smart Talk, Rep. Reed explains his proposal that would increase statewide sales and income taxes while cutting back on property taxes proportionately.

Prior property tax reform bills never got any momentum in the legislature because they didn't generate as much revenue as what property taxes bring in.  Reed says he has taken that into consideration with his proposal.

Reed is also proposing that the state provide 50% of local schools' funding compared to about 35% currently.

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  • Bob Nunn img 2014-07-22 08:03

    Hopefully this time the employees at Hershey won't act like little kids and cause the merger to fail like they did when Hershey merged with Geisinger.

    I not only heard about it, but experienced the complaining first hand...

  • Bob Nunn img 2014-07-22 08:16

    So Rep. Reed's plan is to stick it to the little person; meanwhile no closure of the "Delaware Tax Loophole" or a resonable Marcellus tax.

    The more you tax the job creators, aka the consumer the less they have to spend which results in fewer jobs.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-07-22 08:51

    Thomas writes:

    I have been paying my own self employed insurance since 2009 I am a healthy younger person that does not smoke since the ACA came out my premium monthly doubled and my deductible went up 20%. I simply DO NOT believe your guest when he says that he cares about the consumers of health care.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-07-22 08:58

    Thomas from Lancaster emails:

    what will make your idea different.

    1. we where told the gambling would reduce greatly (i get 108$) but the taxes continue to go up. because the loopholes that allowed the districts to do so.
    2.i have not seen the increase in the gambling monies for tax relief change.

    thank you

  • Mara img 2014-08-01 12:14

    "We are hearing you, Dave. We're hearing you folks loud and clear...and we hope that someday"... over the rainbow you'll forget about how lame this whole infomercial with The Man was. Very weak interview, Scott, sorry to say. But it didn't sound like there was much interest from listeners during the airing (I only caught this online a week later), so I guess most Pennsylvanians are pretty well habituated to the broken, chronically in-crisis status of our hospital system. Mr Carter's statements amounted to nothing more than party-line corporate handling. Bend over, PA--time for another spanking, but you're probably getting used to it. Hello, Brave New World! Oh, and I'm so relieved that the White Shore will be getting a hospital that can guarantee private rooms for its patients. Thanks for solving THAT mystery Mr Carter. Now we can all go back to bed, secure in the assurance that "the regulatory agencies" are monitoring the situation. What a laugh! All I could say while listening to this whole thing was, "Are you kidding me??" Unbelievable that there was no serious challenge offered to corporate blah blah blah. We're doomed, but I hope everyone sleeps well.