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!