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Friday, September 10, 2010

RenewLV on Regional Health Department: It's Alive!

RenewLV is my favorite faux grass roots group. Accordning to its most recent newsletter, a controversial regional health department is still alive. Here's their take:

As you may know, the Lehigh Valley Health Commission -- composed of the county legislators in Lehigh and Northampton Counties -- reviewed and voted on the plan and budget for the Lehigh Valley Health Department at the Commission's July 19 meeting. Both items needed to be approved by a majority of legislators in each county. While Lehigh County Commissioners approved the proposal 6-3, it failed to pass in Northampton County by a 2-6 vote. Overall, the Lehigh Valley Health Commission voted 9-8 against the regional health department. For more information, read the coverage of the meeting in the Morning Call and the Express-Times.

The proposal did not pass on July 19 despite the overwhelming public support at the meeting, as supporters packed the room and more than 25 speakers -- many representing organizations with large regional memberships -- expressed their desire to see the regional health department become a reality.

Though the proposal was not approved, the effort to establish a bi-county health department is still alive. The Lehigh Valley Health Commission approved the operating budget for the Board of Health itself until the end of 2010, allowing the Board members to continue working. In the coming months, the Board of Health will be working with county and city officials to see how to move the regional health effort forward, and the Board of Health plans to meet in early October. RenewLV will keep you updated on upcoming meetings and activities of the Board.

Thank you again for your continuous support. We will keep you updated on any future developments regarding the bi-county health department. In the meantime, please feel free to visit RenewLV's Regional Health Initiative page, or, if you have questions or comments, email us at health@renewlv.org.


Anonymous said...

Their first act should be to institute a Death Panel to stop any further life support of the Callahan campaign.

Anonymous said...

Callahan's campaign has raised 1.6 million. that's a campaign that's triving. Nice to know Charlie Dent's fans are aligned with the Palin lie machine. Typical of Dent and the radical right.

Anonymous said...

1.6 millon? Now I know where all my brothers and sisters union dues were wasted.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, you seemed surprised to hear that the movement lives. A great majority of the people in the Lehigh Valley (yourself included, if I recall) believe that we are not a healthy community and would benefit from increased population based prevention services. A public health approach is clearly the best way to achieve this. We will continue to advocate for this until it becomes a reality. We need to continue to work with the elected officials to find a way to accomplish this. This will not, and cannot die! It's too important to all of us.

Jon Geeting said...

The reason this proposal failed has absolutely nothing to do with the merits of the proposal, and everything to do with the quality of the politicians who voted on it.

A majority of the Lehigh Commissioners thought it was a good idea, so it passed. Only a minority of the NorCo Council thought it was a good idea, so it failed.

The solution is quite simple. In 2011, just replace Ron Angle, Lamont McClure and all the others on NorCo Council who don't like the proposal with politicians who do like the proposal.

Anonymous said...

"...overwhelming public support at the meeting,..." Hardly indicative of the majority support of the taxpayers in the Valley!! This Health Department is now a rogue operation that needs to be stopped. It should not be meeting and figuring out how it can survive. The people of the Valley of spoken. No more government, no more duplication of service (the State provides all necessary services) and NO MORE TAXES. When are these government types going to learn. Whether its, federal, state, local, libraries, youth groups, etc.... the people are broke and there is no more money to support these self serving machines. End of rant.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Jon - Jon - Jon,

I have my own problems with Lamont McClure. But let me tell you it is very unwise to make a decision about any elected official on the basis of one issue. More often than not, Lamont would see things your way. He was pretty much opposed to this from day one, when it was presented by a consultant from Pittsburgh. McClure was quite concerned hospitals would use this just to ease their burden at the ER, and w/o kicking in a dime.

Philosophically, I support a regional health department. But as I told Steve Bliss and anyone else who would listen to me, the only chance this had would be with a zero county contribution for the first three years or hospital contributions. I follow both LC and NC very closely, and I know that is the only way this idea had a chance. Both counties are facing two or three years of straight tax hikes.

Dr. Lyon also gave a terrible presentation on this topic earlier this year. He was torn to pieces by Angle, Browning, Eckhart and others opposed to this idea. And these are legitimate concerns. Initially, there would be a major disparity between the quality of services offered in urban and outlying areas.

And don't delude yourself to thinking LC really supported this. It could afford to say it supported it bc it knew that NC was going to shoot it down. I doubt there are 5 votes for a stand alone health department in LC, or it would have been proposed.

Yes, it's the right thing to do, but it's being attempted at the worst possible time.

State law makes it very esy to put this issue on the ballot for a referendum vote. I've been meaning to write about that, but it would require very few signatures. Now if this is so overwhelmingly popular and the people's will and all that good stuff, why has nobody tried to put it on the ballot?

I suspect RenewLV and others think it would fail, so they are going to continue their outreach and education. When the economy improves, so will the attitude.

Anonymous said...

Need to clean house this project should be dead.

Anonymous said...

Are you freeking kidding me? Really? So, Northampton County wants to sell Gracedale screaming we can't afford this. Old folks, citizens across the county don't want this to happen but Anlfge/Stoffa claim we "don't" have to do it so screw the people. Angle wants a victory and Stoffa wants $35 million for buddy Abe Atiyah.

So after they dump Gracedale because of "money" and "not forced to do by law", they will turn around and fund this turkey.

Anlge/Stoffa want to see a double recall in action, they will make County history. Over time the cost of this monster would dwarf Gracedale.

Enough bullshit!!

Anonymous said...

If this thing is so "alive" why did they cancel their September Meeting? It is only "alive" until the end of Dec., then their funding will be cut. Then, hopefully, it will be pronounced offically dead.

Anonymous said...

I still do not think it is clear in the minds of the tax payers or respective county commissioners exactly what this new organization will do.

Nor is it clear whether it will do it any better than the current system. They have failed to make a compelling arguement. Perhaps this is because the driving passion lies not with the board but with the folks behind the curtain.

Health care costs in The Valley are outrageous. Go figure, all one has to do is drive around and visit the sites of the respective hospitals. The only thing that is missing is the "Members Only" signs, not unlike those at the local exclusive country clubs.

If the "new" health bureau does become a reality would these same signs appear outside our local hospitals, save Sacred Heart?

Remember members only = commercial provider proof of insurance cards.

Is all of this growth in health care in The Valley necessary or is it the Viagra fueled competition between the CEO's of the two large systems? You decide.

The counties cannot afford this. Times have changed, those days are gone. This proposal is not based on reality.

Anonymous said...

The folks fighting healthcare reform continue to build new hospitals that rival the mansions of robber Barron's of the late 19th century.

Hypocrites all!

Anonymous said...

Follow the RenewLV money trail.

Steve Bliss

According to the RenewLV website Steve Bliss's wife is an MD in Allentown. She is employed at Lehigh Valley Hospital.


Check out Google: Steve Bliss - Menlo Park, CA

The players:


Pool Trust Contributions to RenewLV
I believe they also have a relationship with Lehigh Valley Hospital

2008 - $15,000
2007 - $15,000
2006 - $30,000
2005 - $7,275

Pool Trust Advisors:

Steve Bliss
Salary not stated in the latest annual report.


If you live in Lehigh and or Northampton County you should be aware of these relationships. This information is 100% derived from the www.

Anonymous said...

If I were on life support, I'd sure want Renew LV on my side! If they had been on the Titanic, they'd be playing Nearer My God to Thee until the water reached their belly buttons.

My only problem with the organization is it's total dedication to social engineering as if they know precisely what the community needs. When such people - unelected people mind you - know what is better for me than I do I begin to worry.

Anonymous said...

They are merely the fresh social "face" for the old bastards that run the old Republican Lehigh Valley Partnership.

Anonymous said...

"Such big knockers!"

"Why, thank you doctor."

One of the best lines in movie history.

Bernie O'Hare said...

One of my favorites.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"They are merely the fresh social 'face' for the old bastards that run the old Republican Lehigh Valley Partnership."

This is what scares me about RenewLV. It was created right around the time of a Brookings report commissioned by the LV Partnership. Its web page does indicate some of the players involved. This is why I refer to Renew LV as a "faux" grassroots group. I wish it were more transparent about its fuinding sources, although I believe the people in the group are committed and care.

Anonymous said...

They are about "fresh" and "care", as politicians like Barron.