Legislative help urged

I appreciate State Rep. John McGinnis, R-79, for hosting the town hall meeting on Jan. 9 in Altoona, and including Reps. Mike Fleck, R-81, and Jim Christiana, R-15, to answer the public’s questions concerning healthcare access in our area (Jan. 10, “Uncertainty on Coverage.”)

I am a nurse at UPMC Altoona. The last thing patients and caregivers want to think about is if insurance will cover someone’s needed hospital care, but that appears to be a growing problem in our state.

At the town hall meeting, I learned about legislation addressing this issue, which is sponsored by the state representatives and two dozen of their colleagues from both sides of the aisle.

House Bill 1621 and 1622 would require health systems like UPMC to contract with any willing insurer.

They also couldn’t charge unreasonable rates.

Despite the Mirror article being informative, the headline was somewhat misleading – the people at the town hall meeting overwhelmingly support this legislation.

I urge constituents to contact their legislators and let them know these house bills need to become law.

We’ve seen UPMC turn away Highmark subscribers in Pittsburgh. Now that UPMC has taken over Altoona Regional, we need to know the same thing won’t happen here.

Amy Miller