The Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council received a second reprieve from Gov. Edward Rendell, who extended a July executive order to keep the quality and cost-reporting agency open. The agency briefly closed at the end of June after legislative wrangling stalled a bill to reauthorize the council for five years.
Rendells order initially allowed the agency to remain open until Nov. 30, but his latest move extends that period until June 30, 2009, or until the states General Assembly authorizes its operations. Earlier this month, Rendell unsuccessfully urged lawmakers to hold a healthcare session of the state Legislature to address his $1.9 billion plan to expand insurance coverage, malpractice assistance and the cost containment councils authorization. -- by Melanie Evans