Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The PHC4 Crisis Ends -- Temporarily

The Governor has reinstituted the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4) by Executive Order, bringing all of the employees back after being fired a week ago.

The employees were terminated last week because the General Assembly had not reauthorized the Council, so you might think that in order for the employees to be rehired, the legislature must have reauthorized the Council. But no, it didn't. The Governor re-established the Council by Executive Order. If he could do that, why didn't he just do that last week instead of shutting it down for a week? And if he wasn't sure he could do it then, why not wait a week to figure it out?

The Executive Order is only valid through November 30, so if the General Assembly doesn't act by then, will the Governor fire all of the employees again?

How in the world can an agency expect to retain highly specialized staff in this kind of environment? With many other states looking to establish health care cost and quality reporting systems, the PHC4 employees must certainly be starting to think that the grass will be greener somewhere else.


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