ShareThis Page
Letters to the Editor

End stalemate

| Friday, May 9, 2014, 8:57 p.m.

The stalemate between Highmark and UPMC must soon come to an end! The consequences of status quo already are upon us!

It is frightening that UPMC continues blocking those insured by Highmark from UPMC facilities and doctors. How can UPMC discriminate against Highmark and those it insures while enjoying nonprofit status in the same health-care field?

The essence of the fracas is that Highmark has entered the field of hospital care via investment in Allegheny General, et al., in addition to being a provider of health insurance. UPMC's aim seems to be eliminating Highmark as a competitor in both health care and insurance.

This so incensed UPMC that it decided, beginning after 2014, to ban those insured by Highmark from its hospitals, facilities and doctors, except Medicare and Medicaid patients (the federal government does not allow such discriminatory exclusions).

As it stands, there is no care or cost benefit for those who need health care, only lack of access. It's a great benefit to UPMC, giving it virtual control over availability and cost of health care in the Pittsburgh area.

Competition is critical to all in health care in the Pittsburgh area. The state Legislature is considering bills that would require all health facilities and their doctors to openly accept, on a nondiscriminatory basis, contractual arrangement for full access by bona fide insurers and those insured. Let's aggressively support this proposed course of action without further delay. The damage is being done daily.

John Weagraff


TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me