In an editorial on March 27th, the Post-Gazette officially endorsed our city’s decision to challenge the tax exempt status of UPMC, calling it “a fight worth having.”
Pennsylvania’s “HUP test” which sets the standard for charitable organizations has five distinct prongs, and organizations must pass all of them to be deemed a charity worthy of tax-exemptions. The Post-Gazette‘s argument for supporting the challenge to UPMC focuses in on the 5th of these prongs, which states that an “institution of purely public charity” must “operate entirely free of private profit motive.”
“UPMC closed Braddock hospital in a poverty-stricken area, saying it could not afford the red ink, at the same time it was building one in Monroeville, a prosperous community where another modern hospital already existed.
UPMC, which vigorously promotes its own health insurance plan, does not want to provide affordable access to Highmark insurance customers, who represent the majority of the Western Pennsylvania market.”
These examples raise serious questions about UPMC’s business practices, and whether or not UPMC is in fact an organization that operates free of private profit motive.