(Pittsburgh) February 22, 2019 “Charities don’t usually take governments to court when government demands that all citizens have equal access to that charity’s services. But we have seen this story before. UPMC used the same tactic when the City of Pittsburgh challenged its tax-exempt status in 2013, a suit which was later dropped.

“While being forced to take a ‘purely public charity’ to court for harmful and predatory behavior against the very citizens who built it is almost unbelievable, UPMC’s retaliation plainly shows that it has zero intention of voluntarily acting like anyone’s idea of a charity. UPMC’s suit is an effort–funded by our taxpayer, charitable and healthcare dollars–to sap the people’s representatives of the resources to stand up for them. Allegheny County taxpayers are essentially paying UPMC to sue us, even as UPMC denies many of us care.

“Regardless of the result of suits and countersuits, this is a situation that cannot be allowed to continue. Our legislators must enact legislation that will ensure all local residents–who have paid to build UPMC–have access to it. If this fails, our local officials must seek to end its laughable charitable tax exemption.

“I urge all residents who recognize that this untenable situation must be brought to an end to sign our petition and tell their story at HealthCarePGH.com, and attend a Rally to Take Back Our Hospitals at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 3 on Grant St. outside U.S. Steel Tower.”