I have watched and read with much interest the fight between UPMC and Highmark. But no one has mentioned the sweetheart deal Highmark enjoyed for decades with the unions: United Steel Workers, United Mine Workers and many others. This deal consisted of Highmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield being designated as the health insurance in the collective bargaining agreement.
By doing so, this excluded any other health insurance provider from competing for union business.
While all this was going on, UPMC was using its financial resources to bail out or buy underperforming and failing hospitals and including them in its group of hospitals, thereby utilizing the "law of large numbers" and exercising economies of scale for all participants. It also provided much-needed direction and management skills.
Now Highmark is crying "foul." This sounds like sour grapes to me!
EARL R. WARD
The writer is a retired insurance broker.