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Highmark, West Penn Merger Gets Public Support in Hearing

The Pennsylvania Insurance Department held a public meeting on Tuesday to discuss the merger between Pittsburgh-based health insurer Highmark and the struggling West Penn Allegheny Health System, also based in Pittsburgh.

According to a report in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, most in attendance spoke in favor of the Highmark-West Penn merger as a way to maintain competition in the market.  University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, the leading hospital system in the Pittsburgh area, is West Penn's main competitor.

"The city of Pittsburgh applauds Highmark, and its willingness to advance its proposed alliance with West Penn Allegheny," Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said at the meeting. "We see something good here, and are pulling together to see it through."

Highmark's plan to acquire West Penn for $475 million received confirmation from the U.S. Department of Justice last week when the agency announced it will not oppose the acquisition. Under the proposed affiliation, Highmark and West Penn would be governed by a new non-profit organization.

More Articles on Highmark and West Penn:

Highmark, West Penn to Reopen Emergency Department in Pittsburgh Today
Highmark CEO on Unpaid Leave; Faces Charges of Assault, Trespassing
West Penn Allegheny Files Petition to Replace Judge on Antitrust Suit

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