DeLuca saddened by court ruling on consent decree

Insurance Committee Democratic chairman seeks to find legislative answer

HARRISBURG, June 14 – On Friday, the Commonwealth Court announcement that it would not intervene in the impending June 30 dissolution of the consent decree between UPMC and Highmark saddened state Rep. Tony DeLuca, D-Allegheny. In a statement, the Insurance Committee Democratic chairman vowed to find a legislative answer:

“It’s with disbelief and a heavy heart that I’ve learned that the Commonwealth Court is not going to step in and provide a way out of this ongoing, toxic feud between UPMC and Highmark, which ultimately will negatively affect many western Pennsylvania residents in the weeks and months to come.

“It’s a tough pill to swallow knowing that even if we decide to take institutions like UPMC to court, and follow all the legal steps to enact change, nothing will change. The only way to truly enact change is to redraft and change laws.

“This case still has a way to go as it makes its way through the courts, but in the meantime thousands of Pennsylvanians will now have to face the harsh reality of being cut off from their doctors and one-of-a-kind medical care.

“We were all very hopeful when UPMC announced that despite the ongoing feud, they would allow patients undergoing cancer treatment to access their facilities, regardless of the name on their insurance cards. It was a glimpse of hope for some but left many unanswered questions for others who continue to suffer from other chronic health conditions.

“My colleague state Representative Dan Frankel and I have two pieces of legislation, House Bill 1211 and House Bill 1213, that would rectify this matter and provide in-network care for all insurers. But these bills can’t be passed without bipartisan support, so I’m calling upon all legislators – from both sides of the aisle – to stand together and pass commonsense legislation that will provide all residents with quality health care, regardless of their insurer,” DeLuca said.