Local Lawmakers Rally In Harrisburg To Prevent UPMC/Highmark Split

organizers say more than 200,000 residents across Pennsylvania stand to lose their doctors after the June 30 split

Joe DeStio
May 14, 2019 - 7:50 pm
A rally in Harrisburgh  UPMC/Highmark split

HARRISBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - Several dozen lawmakers and patients rallied in Harrisburg Tuesday against the pending split between UPMC and Highmark insurance.

State Rep. Tony DeLuca of Penn Hills, a cancer survivor, told the rally healthcare is a right.

“We need to take back our hospitals. We paid for them with our hard earned premiums.”

State Representative Dan Frankel of Squirrel Hill says the UPMC-Highmark split is the top issue he hears about from constituents.

Rally organizers say more than 200,000 residents across Pennsylvania stand to lose their doctors after the June 30 split.

Patient Beth McCrackin of Pittsburgh, fighting a rare cancer, says she faces a two hour drive to Cleveland Clinic after June 30th. Meanwhile, UPMC released a statement today saying it provided 1.2 billion dollars in community benefits last year.

“After six years I finally found a team that can help me, who I trust, and who hopefully saved my life. However, when I wake up July 1st they will no longer be my doctors because the Highmark-UPMC divorce will be final,” said McCrackin.

County Controller Chelsa Wagner said during the rally, “10,000 signatures, 10,000people who are standing behind everyone here to say that we are taking back our hospitals and we will not stand for this.”

Next week the state Supreme Court will hear arguments in Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro's lawsuit to postpone the pending June 30th split.