The numbers

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UPMC, I have been watching your ads claiming that you cannot afford to have 41,000 patients transfer to the Highmark/Allegheny Health Network facilities. Forty-one thousand does sound like a big number, but (being curious) I did some math. I looked up the population totals for several areas in Wikipedia.

In 2011, the city of Pittsburgh had 307,484 residents. If all 41,000 of the Highmark patients came just from the city of Pittsburgh, that's only 13 percent of the total population.

However, since UPMC has facilities in several counties, I added the population for Allegheny, Beaver and Butler counties and their total population in 2010 was 1,576,749 -- 41,000 people is less than 3 percent of this total population.

Please stop insulting my intelligence.

TERRY LAINE-TOMMARELLO
South Park


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