Saturday, February 13, 2016

Pittsburgh: A Different Health-Care Fight

As the Supreme Court takes up health care and the nation watches, a different sort of health-care fight broke out in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh: A Different Health-Care Fight


And now, as the nation watches the U.S. Supreme Court and waits for a determination on the health law at the center of the race for president, comes a different sort of health care fight from the steel city of Pittsburgh.

The Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports in detail on the strange case of Highmark boss Dr. Kenneth Melani, his mistress, his fistfight, his arrest and his oh-so-fat, overly obese annual salary.

In sum, Melani, 58, hired 28-year-old social friend and golfing buddy Melissa Myler last October-and three weeks later they began an affair. Melani's wife finds out and contacts Myler's 49-year-old husband, Mark Myler, in January.

Melissa and the doctor move in together, but the doctor hires a private investigator to probe the past of his mistress.

I'm already thinking made-for-TV movie.

But it gets better.

The doctor doesn't like what the investigator finds so he shows up at Mark Myler's house last Sunday where Melissa Myler had gone to talk with her estranged hubby.

The Doc accuses the mistress of cheating on him, fisticuffs break-out twixt the Doc and spurned hubby, police and EMTs show up. The Doc is arrested on charges of criminal assault and trespass. And the police report says an officer overhears the Doc on his cellphone telling someone -- wait for it -- "If police hadn't been there he would have killed the Mylers."

Nice. Sounds like a real stable guy.

Highmark, which is in the middle of highly publicized and controversial effort (subject to state hearings) to buy out West Penn Allegheny Health Sytem for $475 million and buy up regional physican contracts for another $500 million so it can open outpatient centers, has placed Dr. Melani on leave without pay.

Not that he should be financially suffering.

The newspaper reports his salary at the NON-PROFIT Highmark last year was $4.35 million.

Which raises two questions.

When will this story be the lead episode in a new TV series, "The Desperate Health-Care CEOs of Allegheny County?" And WTF is the head of a non-profit health-care insurer doing with a salary of $4 million-plus?

How are your premiums today? I mean IF you have health insurance. I mean GRRRR!





Daily News Political Columnist
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
Also on
letter icon Newsletter