Telehealth gains a wider role in post-pandemic health care

By: Steve Twedt

In 2020 B.C. (Before COVID), telehealth had no discernable role in the day-to-day patient care provided by Genesis Medical Associates, a 21-physician independent primary care practice in McCandless.

“We were doing zero telehealth until March,” said Dr. Tad Scheri, president of Genesis Medical and one of the group’s practicing physicians. As the crisis peaked a few weeks later, he estimates 60-80% of the practice’s patients were being seen via video screen, or in a few cases talking by telephone, rather than meeting in person.

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Voters’ guide: Meet Pa.’s 2020 primary election candidates

By: Megan Lavey-Heaton

Welcome to your Voters Guide to Pennsylvania’s 2020 primary election.

Republicans and Democrats across the state will head to the polls June 2 to select their parties’ nominees for state row offices, Congressional representatives and the state Legislature.

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Governor Wolf vetos three critical bills for reopening Pennsylvania

On Tuesday May 19, 2020, Governor Wolf vetoed three bills which would have accelerated Pennsylvania’s reopening process.

Wolf stated that the bills “go against the administration’s measured plan for reopening the state safely” and claimed that each violated the state’s separation of powers principle.

Senate Bill 327 was intended to delegate authority to Pennsylvania’s county commissioners to determine whether businesses may reopen safely.

House Bill 2388 would have permitted specified businesses to reopen, including car dealerships, garden centers, salons, messenger/agent services, animal grooming and manufacturing operations.

House Bill 2412 would have permitted legal and real estate services to resume.

Three Pa. counties still vow to reopen Friday without state approval, but Wolf thwarts larger rebellion

By: Charles Thompson

It appears Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration has limited, but not completely extinguished, a revolt from county commissioners in central and eastern Pennsylvania who were poised to challenge the state’s authority to lead a phased, coronavirus pandemic reopening plan at the start of this week.

What’s a little less clear is how the governor feels about the results of his damage control effort.

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From frames to furniture to food, here’s how Pa. lawmakers spent millions of taxpayer dollars

By: Associated Press

HARRISBURG — It takes hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars a year for the Pennsylvania General Assembly to maintain one of the country’s largest legislative staffs, a small army that needs food, shelter, transportation, office supplies and modern electronics.

An Associated Press review of invoices and more than 6,000 pages of spending line items by the state’s legislative branch last year found lawmakers often use the latitude their own rules provide to decide what to buy and from whom.

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Gov. Tom Wolf denounces Pa. counties reopening without his approval as ‘cowardly,’ ‘selfish’

By: Cynthia Fernandez

HARRISBURG — Gov. Tom Wolf sternly rebuked Pennsylvania counties and businesses that plan to reopen without state approval, calling it a “cowardly act” that could cost those areas not only lives but federal stimulus money, too.

Over the past week, a host of lawmakers, district attorneys, and law enforcement agencies in counties still under strict COVID-19 closure orders said they planned to defy Mr. Wolf and unilaterally move themselves to the next phase of the governor’s reopening plan. State officials have given 37 counties the go-ahead to ease restrictions, lifting the stay-at-home order and allowing some businesses to reopen if they follow certain safety precautions.

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There are reasons Gov. Wolf’s red-yellow-green code draws questions

By: John Baer

We’ve been through color codes before.

Most notably, former Gov. Tom Ridge’s post-9/11 red, orange, yellow, blue, green palette of risks served up while he headed Homeland Security.

His code was more punchline than protection. As was his advice to buy duct tape and plastic sheeting to seal off rooms in case of chemical attacks.

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