The Times Leader reported Senator Robeert Mellow will once again serve as leader of the Senate Democratic Caucus. You might recall that Mellow was one of those government opportunists who refused to repay the illegal pay raise of 2005.
On November 19, 2008 the Time Tribune ran a story about a legislative watchdog group that file a Senate ethics request over Mellow's seat on the Board of Blue Cross. "A legislative reform group called Tuesday for an ethics investigation to determine whether Sen. Robert Mellow's recent appointment to the board of Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania and a subsidiary is a conflict of interest.
The formal request was made to the Senate Ethics Committee by Eric Epstein, coordinator of RockTheCapital.org, a group formed during the 2005 legislative pay raise controversy.
"His acceptance of a board seat with Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania is an obvious conflict of interest of the simple reason that the interests of the company are not necessarily those of the people," Mr. Epstein wrote in a 17-page document released to the media."
RocktheCapital.org issued a press release on November 24, 2008 asking for a suspension of legislative pay raises and future cost of living increases. Mellow responded to the Philadelphia Inquirer last Friday "Our members have the same family responsibilities as others."
I received a notice from BLue Cross NEPA in the mail. A $75.00 copayment for emergency accident services and emergency medical services obtained in Member Hospitals and in Non-Member Hospitals has been added. The co-payment per visit for certain Diagnostic Imaging Procedures has been increased from $15.00 to $75.00. Coverage for reversal of sterilization has been excluded.
Bob Mellow claims the $20,000-a-year BLue Cross board seat will provide him with insight he needs to further public policy.
The Times Tribune article goes on to state "The best way that Mr. Mellow can meet the public’s need for an effective health care policy is to use his power as a legislator to ensure that non-profit, tax-exempt insurers like Blue Cross fulfill their nonprofit charter obligations to meet their communities’ health care needs.
Senator Mellow, if you make it so I can't afford diagnostic services which might detect a disease state before it becomes more costly to treat how did you meet that policy?