Mayor Luke Ravenstahl Asks, “Is UPMC Really a Charity?”

Volunteers Canvasing In East Liberty

Volunteers Canvasing In East Liberty

It’s the question we’ve all been asking. Does UPMC meet the standard for institutions of purely public charity? The City of Pittsburgh thinks not.

Pittsburgh – Today, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, flanked by elected representatives from the City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County and the Pennsylvania General Assembly, faith leaders and UPMC patients, announced the City of Pittsburgh is filing legal challenges to UPMC’s tax exemptions. UPMC is the largest beneficiary of charitable tax exemptions in both the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. All told, UPMC’s tax-breaks cost tax payers an estimated $204 million dollars in federal, state and local taxes in 2011.

UPMC, the region’s largest private landowner, employer, healthcare provider and recipient of charitable tax exemptions, has attracted increasing scrutiny into the validity of its status as a charitable organization.

Stakeholders from all over the region have questioned UPMC’s aggressive and predatory business practices, its vast tax-exempt property empire, and the closing of hospitals in underserved areas. In January, UPMC settled over 80 charges of violations of Federal labor law with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) after a seven-month long investigation into allegations of a hostile anti-union campaign.  And just last week, UPMC told subscribers of a rival insurance company they could no longer see their UPMC doctors – even if they wanted to pay for care out of pocket.

“It has become clear to me that UPMC is not acting like a real charity. We can all see that. To say otherwise really strains credulity. Does a charity turn away patients because they have the “wrong” insurance card? Does a real charity make multi-millionaires of its executives? Does a real charity keep many of its employees living in poverty? Does a real charity put its mission to serve the community aside in the interest of making billions of dollars?” said Reverend David Thornton. “Our common sense tells us no. Our laws tell us no. Our city is taking a principled stand against its Goliath by filing this challenge and we must all make sure we sound our support loud and clear so the City continues to keep this issue is at the top of our community’s agenda.”

“I’m really proud of the City of Pittsburgh today. As a worker at UPMC, I know first hand how hard it can be to stand up to UPMC – inside the hospital and out. But we’ve seen what we can do when we stand together at work,” said Jamie Hopson, a patient care tech at UPMC Montefiore and nursing student. “Now we’re going to stand together with our patients, neighbors, friends and families to win a victory for our whole community.”

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  1. Hello, this is Robert, One of your more devoted field soldiers, a soldier who has brought in other soldiers into the fight with One Pittsburgh, yes this is a very big moment and our hard work is beginning to bare fruit, however we have not used the best and most potent weapons in our arsenal and that is the case law from the cases of Hospital Utilization Project Vs. The Commonwealth Of Pennsylvania and Mesivtah Eitz Chaim Of Bobov Inc. Vs. Pike County, both cases handed down by the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court, the latter in early 2012. = Brad Kroinski gave us the keys to the kingdom when he spoke on the nature of the legal =violations that UPMC is trespassing against and laid out the blueprint of how to hold them accountable under the law, by not putting this case on the web site, not photo-coping the cases into a booklet and passing it out to the general public, One Pittsburgh is holding back a VERY MAJOR WEAPON in educating the general public to the transgressions of UPMC in full form!!!!!!!!!!!! Our 5 points our great, but put the rubber down where it meets the road and use the full weight of your hammer and take the war to UPMC and punish them hard with the TRUTH in these two cases, STOP selling the General Public short , saying they will not understand the case law reports, but YOU HAVE NOT PUT THE INFORMATION OUT THERE TO REALLY KNOW THIS FACTUALLY!!!!!!!!! So please challenge the GENERAL PUBLIC to know!!!! Knowledge is power and we chant power to the people, SO EMPOWER THE PEOPLE WITH THE TRUTH AND KNOWLEDGE/INFORMATION THAT WE HAVE IN THESE CASES, I (WE) ARE SURE YOU WILL SEE A POSITIVE RESULT BY DOING THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sincerely And Respectfully, Rob Bell And Others In One Pittsburgh

  2. Pingback: Historic Day: City Officially Challenges UPMC’s Tax Exempt Status | Make It Our UPMC