- Associated Press - Friday, December 18, 2015

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Officials for two central Pennsylvania health care systems say they will fight against federal and state efforts to block their merger.

The Federal Trade Commission informed the Harrisburg-based PinnacleHealth System and Hershey-based Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center that it will oppose a merger that would transform them into one organization known as Penn State Health.

The office of the Pennsylvania Attorney General also opposed the merger, with both agencies saying the move would increase health care costs in Dauphin County and reduce the quality of care. A federal judge issued a restraining order halting the agreement.

Officials for the health care providers said Thursday that community and business leaders support the merger because it’s in the region’s best interests. They plan to respond to objections in federal court.

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