UPMC's top brass
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Regarding "Medical Ethics Focus of Insurance Dispute Between UPMC and Highmark" (March 8): So who bears responsibility for patients being turned away from receiving care because of their health insurance plan?
The health care providers within the UPMC system aren't responsible if their employer tells them they must refuse to treat Highmark patients who have Community Blue or lose their jobs and/or move outside the system. The region's employers who purchased a health care product that kept their costs low and provided good coverage (up until now) to their employees aren't responsible. The patients who subscribed to Community Blue aren't responsible. The attorneys advising UPMC regarding the letter of the law aren't responsible. The UPMC administrators who refuse to negotiate with Highmark aren't responsible.
So who is responsible for such uncaring treatment of a vulnerable population, for promoting a health care-crushing monopoly for profit? The board of trustees of the UPMC Health System. These are the people who desire and direct a monopoly in health care for our region for the sake of profit; who allow such callous treatment of fellow human beings for the sake of profit; who hide behind the UPMC representatives quoted in the press.
Who are these fine upstanding pillars of our community? It would be helpful for the Post-Gazette to again publish their names so that the public will know who is responsible; just who has the power to appoint and remove and to approve the actions of their UPMC administrators; and just who is prospering from the dismantling of health care choice in our region.
Using people's lives and livelihoods as pawns in this battle over health care profits has to stop. The state Insurance Commission should approve the Highmark/West Penn Allegheny Health System purchase to stop the monopoly that will otherwise occur and give patients and health care professionals a choice of where and whom they want to direct their health care.
First Published March 13, 2013 12:00 am