I love Western Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh but am very dismayed with the lack of effort put forward by our elected officials, both county and state, in the health care war here. For the past couple of years we have had to deal with the health care battle between UPMC and Highmark much to the dismay of all our residents.
I am a cancer survivor with doctors at Shadyside hospital. I am also a survivor of a congenital heart defect with doctors at Shadyside hospital and have had extensive knee surgery from a work-related accident with doctors from Allegheny General Hospital. My wife suffers from lupus, and she has no idea which doctors to stay with for treatment because she does not know which doctors will be covered by our health insurance in the very near future.
We should not have to pick our doctors by which hospitalization we choose. We have “world-class health care doctors,” fantastic hospitals and a health care industry that we can be proud of, and we should continue to have access to all of it.
This dilemma is not nationwide, nor is it even statewide but it is something that as Western Pennsylvania residents we much worry about. This battle is between two corporations that generate millions of dollars off the health care we pay for.
Western Pennsylvania has fought back from a shift in industries and massive layoffs to become a leader in jobs and a strong powerhouse in the national economy. It’s a place where you can still expect a great standard of living.
If our elected officials do not step up to the plate, we will once again be a community that residents think of leaving, not a community people flock to live in. If our elected officials do not solve this battle, we residents must elect officials who will protect us from the billionaire, greedy health care industry.
And to Patrice King Brown, a former resident of Pittsburgh and a face we grew to trust: You now reside on the West Coast and do not have a dog in this fight, so please be quiet and don’t sell yourself for a few of our health care dollars. Remember, you might someday want to return to our community where we loved and respected you.
WILLIAM E. WELLS