DeLuca: Dental networks have value and keep costs down for the consumer

(Sep 24, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 23 – On Sunday, I read Kailyn Marie Perez’s “As I See It” editorial on ways lawmakers can reform health care. While I appreciate and respect her opinion, as Democratic chairman of the House Insurance Committee, I feel that it’s my duty to provide readers with the other side of the story. First, dental networks have value and keep costs down in order to prevent premium increases for dental coverage. This keeps consumers from shelling out big money on top of what their dental insurer reimburses for services. What is missing from the previous Sunday story is the fact that out-of-network dentists generally choose not to join the network because they don’t want a contract and won’t have to agree to in-network reimbursement rates. They want direct payment so they can balance bill the consumer the difference between the reimbursement and the original charges. Meaning – the consumer pays more! I have consistently said no to this proposal and, when House Bill 564 came up for a committee vote, all House Democrats voted “no” and even some Republicans voiced concern, too. The Dental Association that is pushing this proposal wants their cake so they can eat it, too. Dentists would benefit from direct payment when out of network, while the consumer does not benefit. How does a consumer benefit from being balance billed additional charges? Read more

 

DeLuca bill could generate upwards of $135 million for senior citizen property tax freeze

(Sep 18, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 18 – State Rep. Tony DeLuca, D-Allegheny, on Wednesday unveiled his legislative plan to provide qualified senior citizens with a property tax freeze. DeLuca rolled out H.B. 1565 at a Capitol news conference. If adopted into law, the bill would lift the sales tax exemption for advertisements and direct the collected funding to property tax freezes for senior citizens, much like the way the state earmarks lottery revenue to fund Property Tax/Rent Rebates to qualified individuals, DeLuca said. “It is estimated my proposal will benefit between 126,000 and 284,000 senior households,” DeLuca said. “These are state residents who have already paid off their mortgages. Yet, they’re forced to pay ever-increasing property taxes on a fixed income, which ultimately results in many seniors losing their homes.” “Meanwhile, we’re letting big business profits go exactly to that – big business. Why not capitalize on the major profits reaped by large corporations regarding untaxed ads and put that funding to good use? This is a decades-long problem that continues to plague legislators, and the time to act is now. House Bill 1565 is the solution to this ongoing problem.” Under his proposal, any homeowner over 65 with an income less than $40,000 per year would be able to apply for a tax freeze. However, a recipient of the property tax freeze would not be permitted to Read more

 

DeLuca: More than $450,000 awarded to 32nd Legislative District for park improvement projects

(Sep 17, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 17 – State funding totaling a combined $454,410 was awarded Tuesday to Verona Borough, Penn Hills and Plum Borough for park beautification projects, announced state Rep. Tony DeLuca, D-Allegheny. DeLuca said the funding was awarded by the Commonwealth Financing Authority and funded through the Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program. “Enhancing public places like parks is key to continuing the beautification efforts here in the 32 nd Legislative District,” DeLuca said. “The substantial funding awarded today will be reflected in our park areas in the near future, and I’m excited to see residents enjoying the enhancements for years to come.” DeLuca said Verona Borough was awarded $200,000 for the construction of a new pavilion at Cribb’s Field. The project will include the demolition of the existing pavilion and the construction of a new one. DeLuca said the new pavilion will include concessions, restrooms and ADA access from the pavilion to the road. Penn Hills was granted $104,410 for upgrades to Penn Hills Park. DeLuca said the funding will be used to replace the Maple and Red Oak pavilions, which have drainage, roof and concrete issues. DeLuca said the project will increase pavilion capacity and include prefabricated, all-steel basic gable end shelters. Plum Borough received $150,000 for the rehabilitation of Logan’s Ferry Park. DeLuca said the Read more

 

DeLuca to unveil bill that could generate more than $100 million for seniors

(Sep 12, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 12 – On Wednesday, state Rep. Tony DeLuca, D-Allegheny, plans to introduce legislation that has the potential to earmark more than $100 million for senior citizen property tax relief. DeLuca will roll out his legislation, H.B. 1565, at a news conference at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18, in the Capitol Media Center. Funding for property tax relief would come from taxation on advertisements, DeLuca said, referencing the vast amounts of money spent on advertisements each year. “Advertisements are not taxed, and that’s a giveaway to big business,” DeLuca said. “Why not capture some of the millions of dollars large corporations are paying for ad time and direct that revenue to much-needed relief to our senior citizens?” If enacted into law, DeLuca said the taxing of advertisements could generate an estimated $135 million for senior citizen property tax relief. Read more

 

Pennsylvania to Launch Online Application for Absentee Ballots

(Sep 10, 2019)

As part of Governor Tom Wolf’s commitment to making voting more convenient, Pennsylvania is launching a new option for voters to apply online for an absentee ballot starting with the November election. In August 2015, Governor Wolf launched online voter registration. Since then, more than 1.4 million voter registration applications or changes have been submitted online. Read more

 

Changes to my Sept. 7 Shredding event

(Sep 04, 2019)

I am sponsoring a free paper shredding event on Saturday, Sept. 7 (weather permitting) from noon to 2 p.m. at a NEW LOCATION and with NEW RESTRICTIONS. Read more

 

DeLuca condemns BuzzFeed story accusing insurers, police of working together to falsely prosecute customers for profit

(Aug 23, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 23 – In response to a BuzzFeed News story that claims major home and auto insurers around the country have urged law enforcement to intimidate and prosecute customers to boost company profits and avoid paying claims, state Rep. Tony DeLuca, Democratic chairman of the House Insurance Committee, released the following statement: “The accusations, and I reiterate, the accusations made by this news organization claiming the existence and use of a co-opt plan by major insurance companies and law enforcement to falsely prosecute insurers to boost company profits – which, as a result, pay police salaries – are unfounded and false. “As Democratic chairman of the House Insurance Committee, I work closely and am in-tune with the rules, regulations and practices upheld by the state’s Insurance Department. The department would never tolerate actions that suggest the insurance industry is misusing fraud reporting, and it surely would act if brought to its attention. “Moreover, the Insurance Fraud Prevention Authority was enacted to assist insurers in reporting fraud, not tear down the system. This story suggests the opposite, claiming the relationship between insurers and law enforcement in Pennsylvania goes deeper than arresting and prosecuting criminals who deceptively steal money from state residents. This, among others, is another false accusation made on behalf of this news organization. “In 2018, there were Read more

 

Deluca asks Mayor Peduto, House members to honor late-Sen. John McCain by flying American flag on Aug. 25

(Aug 22, 2019)

State Rep. Tony DeLuca sent a letter to Mayor Peduto and all House members, encouraging them to fly the American flag at their residence or place of business to mark the one-year anniversary of U.S. Sen. John McCain's death. Read more

 

ConnectCards coming to a senior center near you!

(Aug 16, 2019)

I am pleased to announce the staff in my district office has been trained to help senior citizens apply for their new Port Authority photo bus pass (Connect Card). Read more

 

Flood plain or not, you can still get flood insurance

(Aug 09, 2019)

As a resident of Allegheny County, flooding is not uncommon – this we know. This year, however, many Allegheny County residents have been impacted by flooding. Read more

 

Residents, business owners: Low-interest loans available for flood damage

(Aug 08, 2019)

As your representative, I wanted to let you know that I have heard your distress over the devastating, widespread flood damage throughout the district from recent storms. For weeks, I have been asking the Wolf Administration to work with federal authorities to declare Allegheny County a disaster area. Today, I’m happy to report that our voices have been heard: The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved Gov. Tom Wolf’s request, and low-interest disaster loans are now available for damage from flash flooding caused by the July 21-22 storms. Homeowners impacted may be eligible for a low-interest loan of up to $200,000. In addition, homeowners and renters may receive up to $40,000 to repair or replace personal property. Businesses impacted may borrow up to $2 million to restore damaged buildings, inventory, equipment and assets. In addition to Allegheny County, disaster loans may be available for damage in neighboring Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Washington, and Westmoreland counties . To assist anyone wishing to apply, the SBA will establish a Disaster Loan Outreach Center at the Renton Volunteer Department, Plum Borough, 1996 Old Mine Rd., Pittsburgh, PA 15239. The center will be open on the following days and times: Opening: Friday, Aug. 9 at 11 a.m. Hours: Monday - Friday., 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 10 & Aug. 17, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Closed: Sundays Closes: Tuesday, Aug. 20 at 4 p.m. Loan applications can also be Read more

 

DeLuca to Insurance Commissioner: We need to keep fair health insurance rates in the individual market

(Aug 05, 2019)

Read my letter to state Insurance Department Commissioner Jessica K. Altman, where I express the state's need to keep fair health insurance rates in the individual market. Read more

 

Department of Health Launches eWIC Card to Make Access to Nutritious Food Easier in Southwest Pennsylvania

(Jul 22, 2019)

The Wolf Administration today launched the eWIC program for families in Southwestern Pennsylvania who receive benefits in Pennsylvania’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). Read more

 

Reminding college students about the importance of the Meningitis vaccine

(Jul 18, 2019)

As students across Pennsylvania prepare to head to college campuses this fall, the Wolf Administration is reminding all students, parents and guardians that most schools require students receive the meningococcal vaccine before they can attend classes. Read more

 

DeLuca: More than $87,000 in fresh food grants awarded to school district, charter school in 32nd Legislative District

(Jul 15, 2019)

HARRISBURG, July 15 – A school district and a charter school in the 32 nd Legislative District on Monday were awarded a combined $87,342 in fresh food grants, announced state Rep. Tony DeLuca, D-Allegheny. The funding was awarded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. The program’s goals are to create healthier school environments by providing healthier food choices, expand the variety of fruits and vegetables, increase fruit and vegetable consumption, and positively impact students’ present and future health. “Providing healthy food options for our students is crucial when it comes to their success in the classroom and overall health, especially during the early stages of life,” DeLuca said. “This funding will ensure students have healthy food options and also push the importance of incorporating fruits and vegetables into their daily diets at a young age.” The Penn Hills School District’s Penn Hills Elementary School was awarded $69,402 in funding. Penn Hills Charter School of Entrepreneurship was allotted $17,940 in grant money. The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program first started in the commonwealth in 2004 and is now in every state. Schools must have a free and reduced meal eligibility of 50% or more in order to qualify for the grants. Nearly 200 elementary schools across Pennsylvania were selected to receive the grants that total almost $5 million. Read more

 

DeLuca: Substantial tax credits, funding to go toward new retirement community in Penn Hills

(Jul 12, 2019)

HARRISBURG, July 12 – Nearly $950,000 in Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement funds and $1.2 million in tax credits were approved Wednesday by the Pennsylvania Housing Financing Agency to construct a retirement community in Penn Hills, said state Rep. Tony DeLuca, D-Allegheny. “The funding awarded Wednesday, to be frank, will make an extreme difference for seniors in our community,” DeLuca said. “Ensuring our seniors have a nice place to live, especially after all their hard work in years prior, is essential, at least to my district. I’m excited to announce this funding and even more excited to see the complex once it’s complete. DeLuca said the tax credits and $948,081 in PHARE funding will help pay for a 52-unit building – dubbed Emerald Hills Retirement Residence - for those 62 and older. PHARE program funding comes from a portion of the impact fees collected from natural gas companies operating in Pennsylvania to address the housing shortages caused by the impact of drilling. Those funds are supplemented with two additional funding sources, including a portion of the realty transfer tax and money from the National Housing Trust Fund. For more information, residents can visit the following link: https://www.phfa.org/legislation/act105.aspx Read more

 

DeLuca calls for state of emergency across Allegheny County

(Jul 11, 2019)

PITTSBURGH, July 11 – Citing severe flooding and torrential rainfall across the county, state Rep. Tony DeLuca is calling upon Penn Hills Mayor Sara Kuhn and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald to declare a state of emergency in Allegheny County. DeLuca, D-Allegheny, noted that more rain is to come, with the National Weather Service calling for the possibility of an afternoon line of storms that could yield heavy rain, small hail and strong winds. A flash flood warning has been issued across the county until 8 p.m. However, DeLuca said much damage has already been done. “Our roadways are filled with water and our streams are beginning to look like rivers,” DeLuca said. “It’s a mess out here and it’s unsafe to be traveling in these conditions. Due to this, I’m calling upon Mayor Kuhn and County Executive Fitzgerald to declare a state of emergency for Penn Hills and Allegheny County as a whole.” DeLuca said the emergency declaration would allow the county to receive assistance from both the state and federal emergency management agencies, both of which would provide much-needed assistance to county officials as they work to clean and clear the roadways and monitor the ongoing flooding across the region. Read more

 

DeLuca applauds signing of H.B. 3, thanks governor, colleagues for their support

(Jul 02, 2019)

HARRISBURG, July 2 – State Rep. Tony DeLuca, D-Allegheny, today released the following statement on Gov. Tom Wolf’s signing of H.B. 3, a bipartisan bill that creates an authority to operate a state-based health insurance exchange for Affordable Care Act individual market plans, and enact a reinsurance program to reduce premium increases: “Following a hectic yet productive month at the state Capitol, I’m finally back in the district, meeting with constituents and attending to matters here in the community. However, I’m overjoyed to see Governor Wolf sign House Bill 3, which was a consumer-oriented bill that gives the commonwealth the opportunity to operate its own exchange at lower costs than the federal government and reduces premium increases. “I wish I could have been there today to take part in this historic moment – a moment that put our state legislature’s ability to work in bipartisan fashion on full display for the betterment of commonwealth residences. “I’d also like to thank Governor Wolf, Democratic Leader Frank Dermody and Republican Leader Bryan Cutler for acknowledging the work I put in to push this bill through the House Insurance Committee and to the House chamber for a prompt, unanimous vote. Your words are greatly appreciated, and it’s moments like this that give me the utmost faith in our state system and our ability to work together to move the commonwealth in the right direction. Read more

 

DeLuca: Republicans voted against consumer protections; bill would leave residents exposed to high medical costs

(Jun 27, 2019)

HARRISBURG, June 27 – Today the House Insurance Committee voted H.B. 564 out of committee. This bill as amended allows for the direct payment to any out-of-network healthcare provider. This measure compromises networks while driving the cost of health care for consumers even higher, said Rep. Tony DeLuca, D-Allegheny. DeLuca, Democratic chairman of the House Insurance Committee, said Majority Appropriations Chairman Stan Saylor, the prime sponsor of this bill, pushed the legislation to appease special interests. House Republicans on the Insurance Committee voted in favor of the legislation, which DeLuca said indicates their allegiance to their political party instead of their constituents. “This legislation is no good,” DeLuca said. “The bill puts residents at risk of high out-of-pocket costs and is at odds with what state legislators should be doing with their time in office. Instead of helping our residents, we’re exposing them to what possibly could be financial catastrophe.” DeLuca said H.B. 564 initially was designed to direct insurance companies to pay a dentist directly for services rendered to a patient, but now includes all medical services. Also absent from this legislation are consumer protections. Under this bill, a patient’s insurance company will pay the provider directly, leaving the patient responsible for any additional amount billed by the provider. This is a win for providers and their health systems, not Read more

 

DeLuca votes “yes” on budget bill; cites substantial support for education as one of the driving factors in his decision

(Jun 25, 2019)

HARRISBURG, June 25 – State Rep. Tony DeLuca, D-Allegheny, cast a “yes” vote for House Bill 790, the General Appropriations bill, saying that while it’s not perfect, the bill does provide increased support for educational services and other amenities: “This bill certainly doesn’t achieve what we want it to do, but it does move Pennsylvania forward in some significant ways,” DeLuca said. “Most importantly, in my view, is the increased support for educational progress at all levels: Pre-K and early childhood education; elementary and secondary basic education; special education; career and technical education; job training; a 2% increase for public universities and community colleges; more funds to support students through PHEAA; school security funding; and library funding, so that our children and adults know what is going on now as well as what has occurred in the past. “As you’ve heard others say, it does not raise taxes and puts a substantial amount in the rainy-day fund, which helps protect us when things get tough – just like a home budget. It also reduces the waiting list for services to people with intellectual disabilities and families seeking help with affordable childcare. “I support this budget for the good things it does. There are many more things we all need to work on, including an increase to the minimum wage. I was hopeful this budget would include a minimum wage increase, but Read more

 

DeLuca: Dental networks have value and keep costs down for the consumer
Sep 24, 2019

DeLuca bill could generate upwards of $135 million for senior citizen property tax freeze
Sep 18, 2019

DeLuca: More than $450,000 awarded to 32nd Legislative District for park improvement projects
Sep 17, 2019

DeLuca to unveil bill that could generate more than $100 million for seniors
Sep 12, 2019

Pennsylvania to Launch Online Application for Absentee Ballots
Sep 10, 2019

Changes to my Sept. 7 Shredding event
Sep 04, 2019

DeLuca condemns BuzzFeed story accusing insurers, police of working together to falsely prosecute customers for profit
Aug 23, 2019

Deluca asks Mayor Peduto, House members to honor late-Sen. John McCain by flying American flag on Aug. 25
Aug 22, 2019

ConnectCards coming to a senior center near you!
Aug 16, 2019

Flood plain or not, you can still get flood insurance
Aug 09, 2019

Residents, business owners: Low-interest loans available for flood damage
Aug 08, 2019

DeLuca to Insurance Commissioner: We need to keep fair health insurance rates in the individual market
Aug 05, 2019

Department of Health Launches eWIC Card to Make Access to Nutritious Food Easier in Southwest Pennsylvania
Jul 22, 2019

Reminding college students about the importance of the Meningitis vaccine
Jul 18, 2019

DeLuca: More than $87,000 in fresh food grants awarded to school district, charter school in 32nd Legislative District
Jul 15, 2019

DeLuca: Substantial tax credits, funding to go toward new retirement community in Penn Hills
Jul 12, 2019

DeLuca calls for state of emergency across Allegheny County
Jul 11, 2019

DeLuca applauds signing of H.B. 3, thanks governor, colleagues for their support
Jul 02, 2019

DeLuca: Republicans voted against consumer protections; bill would leave residents exposed to high medical costs
Jun 27, 2019

DeLuca votes “yes” on budget bill; cites substantial support for education as one of the driving factors in his decision
Jun 25, 2019