2014-01-22


Council Member Robinson Announces Support for House Bills 1661 & 1662

JANUARY – Allegheny County Council Member William Russell Robinson announces his support for House Bills 1661 & 1662 currently before the House Health Committee.

These bills, known as the Assuring Patient Access and Consumer Choice Act, promote consumer power and choice by preventing unreasonable rates for health care services. The measures would require all hospitals and hospital-owned physician practices that are part of an integrated delivery network to contract with any willing insurer. It would prohibit dominant hospitals and physician-related practices from entering into contractual agreements which would impede the availability of health care services and limit access to any health care facility.

“I would like to commend Representatives Christiana and Frankel and the other co-sponsors of these bills for their bi-partisan support of this issue which is especially relevant to my constituents in Allegheny County due to the dispute between our areas largest health care providers/insurers, UPMC and Highmark. Also to be noted is the announcement of support of this legislation by the Pittsburgh chapter NAACP whose endorsement is indicative of the importance of this issue to the people of color in this County who are impacted both as patients and employees of these health care institutions.”

“UPMC and Highmark are beholden to the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and should exist to serve the medical needs of the people. While they are arguing over profits and jurisdiction, my constituents are left in limbo without assurance of a continuity of care with their chosen and trusted medical practitioners.”

For more information, contact Council Member Robinson at 412-350-6570.