Letter to the editor: UPMC-Highmark political stunt
The UPMC/Highmark situation is a great example of why health care should never be delegated to government control or interference. Attorney General Josh Shapiro should have left the issue alone. People had five years to decide what was best for their health care and wallets. Shapiro was only good for those too lazy to figure out their best choice.
Choosing providers is dictated by one’s ability to secure the most desired physician and service choices at a cost they are willing to pay. It is no different than the grocery store you shop. If their prices are too high, or if they don’t carry the products you use, you shop elsewhere. Brand or store loyalty is a big mistake.
Providers are easily changed if premiums get more expensive, or if physician/service choices change negatively. The dispute between Highmark and UPMC was originally resolved by a negotiated decree that gave customers five years to evaluate coverages and costs to create their best deal. We do not need government lawyers at enormous taxpayer expense, or new consent decrees, to enable us to properly choose what’s best for us. Free health care advisers can not only guide your best choice, but help you to seamlessly make any needed provider policy change(s) as well.
Shapiro’s action will increase UPMC’s premiums, because, for the next 10 years, Highmark clients will garner UPMC-subsidized lower cost. Highmark’s client numbers, now using UPMC at no premium, creates longer lines for UPMC client’s access to its physicians and services.