DeLuca: Substantial tax credits, funding to go toward new retirement community in Penn Hills

(Jul 12, 2019)

HARRISBURG, July 12 – Nearly $950,000 in Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement funds and $1.2 million in tax credits were approved Wednesday by the Pennsylvania Housing Financing Agency to construct a retirement community in Penn Hills, said state Rep. Tony DeLuca, D-Allegheny. “The funding awarded Wednesday, to be frank, will make an extreme difference for seniors in our community,” DeLuca said. “Ensuring our seniors have a nice place to live, especially after all their hard work in years prior, is essential, at least to my district. I’m excited to announce this funding and even more excited to see the complex once it’s complete. DeLuca said the tax credits and $948,081 in PHARE funding will help pay for a 52-unit building – dubbed Emerald Hills Retirement Residence - for those 62 and older. PHARE program funding comes from a portion of the impact fees collected from natural gas companies operating in Pennsylvania to address the housing shortages caused by the impact of drilling. Those funds are supplemented with two additional funding sources, including a portion of the realty transfer tax and money from the National Housing Trust Fund. For more information, residents can visit the following link: https://www.phfa.org/legislation/act105.aspx Read more

 

DeLuca calls for state of emergency across Allegheny County

(Jul 11, 2019)

PITTSBURGH, July 11 – Citing severe flooding and torrential rainfall across the county, state Rep. Tony DeLuca is calling upon Penn Hills Mayor Sara Kuhn and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald to declare a state of emergency in Allegheny County. DeLuca, D-Allegheny, noted that more rain is to come, with the National Weather Service calling for the possibility of an afternoon line of storms that could yield heavy rain, small hail and strong winds. A flash flood warning has been issued across the county until 8 p.m. However, DeLuca said much damage has already been done. “Our roadways are filled with water and our streams are beginning to look like rivers,” DeLuca said. “It’s a mess out here and it’s unsafe to be traveling in these conditions. Due to this, I’m calling upon Mayor Kuhn and County Executive Fitzgerald to declare a state of emergency for Penn Hills and Allegheny County as a whole.” DeLuca said the emergency declaration would allow the county to receive assistance from both the state and federal emergency management agencies, both of which would provide much-needed assistance to county officials as they work to clean and clear the roadways and monitor the ongoing flooding across the region. Read more

 

DeLuca applauds signing of H.B. 3, thanks governor, colleagues for their support

(Jul 02, 2019)

HARRISBURG, July 2 – State Rep. Tony DeLuca, D-Allegheny, today released the following statement on Gov. Tom Wolf’s signing of H.B. 3, a bipartisan bill that creates an authority to operate a state-based health insurance exchange for Affordable Care Act individual market plans, and enact a reinsurance program to reduce premium increases: “Following a hectic yet productive month at the state Capitol, I’m finally back in the district, meeting with constituents and attending to matters here in the community. However, I’m overjoyed to see Governor Wolf sign House Bill 3, which was a consumer-oriented bill that gives the commonwealth the opportunity to operate its own exchange at lower costs than the federal government and reduces premium increases. “I wish I could have been there today to take part in this historic moment – a moment that put our state legislature’s ability to work in bipartisan fashion on full display for the betterment of commonwealth residences. “I’d also like to thank Governor Wolf, Democratic Leader Frank Dermody and Republican Leader Bryan Cutler for acknowledging the work I put in to push this bill through the House Insurance Committee and to the House chamber for a prompt, unanimous vote. Your words are greatly appreciated, and it’s moments like this that give me the utmost faith in our state system and our ability to work together to move the commonwealth in the right direction. Read more

 

DeLuca: Republicans voted against consumer protections; bill would leave residents exposed to high medical costs

(Jun 27, 2019)

HARRISBURG, June 27 – Today the House Insurance Committee voted H.B. 564 out of committee. This bill as amended allows for the direct payment to any out-of-network healthcare provider. This measure compromises networks while driving the cost of health care for consumers even higher, said Rep. Tony DeLuca, D-Allegheny. DeLuca, Democratic chairman of the House Insurance Committee, said Majority Appropriations Chairman Stan Saylor, the prime sponsor of this bill, pushed the legislation to appease special interests. House Republicans on the Insurance Committee voted in favor of the legislation, which DeLuca said indicates their allegiance to their political party instead of their constituents. “This legislation is no good,” DeLuca said. “The bill puts residents at risk of high out-of-pocket costs and is at odds with what state legislators should be doing with their time in office. Instead of helping our residents, we’re exposing them to what possibly could be financial catastrophe.” DeLuca said H.B. 564 initially was designed to direct insurance companies to pay a dentist directly for services rendered to a patient, but now includes all medical services. Also absent from this legislation are consumer protections. Under this bill, a patient’s insurance company will pay the provider directly, leaving the patient responsible for any additional amount billed by the provider. This is a win for providers and their health systems, not Read more

 

DeLuca votes “yes” on budget bill; cites substantial support for education as one of the driving factors in his decision

(Jun 25, 2019)

HARRISBURG, June 25 – State Rep. Tony DeLuca, D-Allegheny, cast a “yes” vote for House Bill 790, the General Appropriations bill, saying that while it’s not perfect, the bill does provide increased support for educational services and other amenities: “This bill certainly doesn’t achieve what we want it to do, but it does move Pennsylvania forward in some significant ways,” DeLuca said. “Most importantly, in my view, is the increased support for educational progress at all levels: Pre-K and early childhood education; elementary and secondary basic education; special education; career and technical education; job training; a 2% increase for public universities and community colleges; more funds to support students through PHEAA; school security funding; and library funding, so that our children and adults know what is going on now as well as what has occurred in the past. “As you’ve heard others say, it does not raise taxes and puts a substantial amount in the rainy-day fund, which helps protect us when things get tough – just like a home budget. It also reduces the waiting list for services to people with intellectual disabilities and families seeking help with affordable childcare. “I support this budget for the good things it does. There are many more things we all need to work on, including an increase to the minimum wage. I was hopeful this budget would include a minimum wage increase, but Read more

 

Slide repair on Hulton Road to begin July 1

(Jun 25, 2019)

I am pleased to announce that PennDOT has officially awarded a contract for the slide repair on Hulton Road in Penn Hills. Work is scheduled to begin on Monday, July 1. The road will be closed at the project site until Nov. 9. Detours will be posted. Meanwhile, PennDOT on Tuesday began drainage improvement work on Poketa Road between Claymont Drive and Hulton Road in Penn Hills. The roadway will be closed weekdays from 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. through Friday, July 12. Detours are posted. Feel free to contact my office if you have any questions regarding this matter. Read more

 

DeLuca applauds UPMC/Highmark decision

(Jun 24, 2019)

HARRISBURG, June 24 – State Rep. Tony DeLuca, D-Allegheny, today released a statement following the announcement that UPMC and Highmark have entered into a 10-year contract that will extend facilities to Highmark-insured patients: “As Democratic Chairman of the House Insurance Committee, I am proud to announce a 10-year deal between UPMC and Highmark that was orchestrated by state Attorney General Josh Shapiro and Governor Tom Wolf. “I have also worked tirelessly, holding hearings in Pittsburgh, introducing legislation, and speaking out publicly to put pressure on UPMC to come to their senses and contract with Highmark for the good of our region and its residents. “Today, it all finally came together, and we should all be grateful to the attorney general and Governor Wolf for finally closing the deal. It has been a long eight years for the people of western Pennsylvania and, finally today, we can breathe a sigh of relief moving forward. “However, I’d like to note that while this is excellent news, contracts have yet to be worked out, so the details are still to come. Please contact your health insurer before making any important health care decisions.” Read more

 

The grass isn’t always greener on the other side

(Jun 14, 2019)

Health care.It’s a topic that is regularly and aggressively debated each day. You know the argument, “universal health care is more efficient and cost effective. The United States should convert to that type of system.” Read more

 

DeLuca saddened by court ruling on consent decree

(Jun 14, 2019)

HARRISBURG, June 14 – On Friday, the Commonwealth Court announcement that it would not intervene in the impending June 30 dissolution of the consent decree between UPMC and Highmark saddened state Rep. Tony DeLuca, D-Allegheny. In a statement, the Insurance Committee Democratic chairman vowed to find a legislative answer: “It’s with disbelief and a heavy heart that I’ve learned that the Commonwealth Court is not going to step in and provide a way out of this ongoing, toxic feud between UPMC and Highmark, which ultimately will negatively affect many western Pennsylvania residents in the weeks and months to come. “It’s a tough pill to swallow knowing that even if we decide to take institutions like UPMC to court, and follow all the legal steps to enact change, nothing will change. The only way to truly enact change is to redraft and change laws. “This case still has a way to go as it makes its way through the courts, but in the meantime thousands of Pennsylvanians will now have to face the harsh reality of being cut off from their doctors and one-of-a-kind medical care. “We were all very hopeful when UPMC announced that despite the ongoing feud, they would allow patients undergoing cancer treatment to access their facilities, regardless of the name on their insurance cards. It was a glimpse of hope for some but left many unanswered questions for others who continue to suffer from other chronic health conditions. Read more

 

DeLuca applauds passing of H.B. 3, hoping for quick vote in state Senate

(Jun 11, 2019)

HARRISBURG, June 11 – State Rep. Tony DeLuca, Democratic chairman of the House Insurance Committee, on Tuesday released the following statement on the passage of H.B. 3 , a bipartisan bill that would create an authority to operate a state-based health insurance exchange for Affordable Care Act (ACA) individual market plans, and enact a reinsurance program to reduce premium increases: “I am encouraged to see a bipartisan, consumer-oriented House bill quickly make its way through the House and move on to the state Senate. As Democratic chairman of the House Insurance Committee, I was happy to quickly move this bill out of the committee and on to the House floor for a near-unanimous vote. This is good legislation – the type of legislation our constituents put us in office to draft and vote on. “I sponsored this legislation because, quite frankly, it’s a no-brainer. This is a bill that gives the commonwealth the opportunity to operate its own exchange at a lower cost than the federal government, while also reducing premium increases. It also would allow for the creation of a state reinsurance program, which would allow insurers to offer their products at a cheaper price by limiting their exposure to high, unpredictable medical expenses. “We have a great opportunity to help roughly 400,000 people struggling to afford quality health insurance for themselves and their families at no additional cost to the taxpayer. It’s my sincere Read more

 

My 2019 Spring Newsletter

(Jun 07, 2019)

Check out 2019 Spring Newsletter! Read more

 

DeLuca bill that adds stronger protections to life insurance products offered by fraternal benefit societies passes House

(Jun 04, 2019)

HARRISBURG, June 4 – State Rep. Tony DeLuca, D-Allegheny, on Tuesday announced that his legislation geared toward providing stronger protections to fraternal life insurance products passed the state House. DeLuca, Democratic chairman of the House Insurance Committee, said life insurance products offered by fraternal benefit societies do not receive the same protections as commercial insurance products purchased in the same market. His measure, H.B. 1016 , would provide stronger protections for fraternal members. “The commonwealth has nearly 500,000 fraternal members, and these fraternal benefit societies – which are not-for-profit membership organizations – help secure their members’ financial future by providing a variety of life insurance and retirement products,” DeLuca said. “However, they don’t receive the same protections as commercial insurance products. This bill would rectify that issue and ensure fraternal members enjoy stronger protections to their life insurance products. Specifically, H.B. 1016 would provide enhanced protections to fraternal insurance products by allowing for earlier regulatory intervention; enacting notification requirements to the state Insurance Department before assessments; creating a streamline process that allows for transfers of products to another fraternal; and if necessary, streamline liquidation. Deluca’s pro-consumer legislation, which was voted out of the Insurance Read more

 

The UPMC/Highmark dispute needs to stop

(Jun 04, 2019)

HARRISBURG, June 4 – Like many of my neighbors and fellow residents of western Pennsylvania, I continue to be dismayed by the ongoing situation between UPMC and Highmark. I am particularly angry about the decision by the UPMC board and CEO Jeffrey Romoff to make it effectively impossible for Highmark insurance subscribers to access care at UPMC facilities. I have even heard from people who are now being forced to travel out of the region, or out of the state, to get the care they need because UPMC will not honor their Highmark insurance policy. This is madness and it cannot go on. As a non-profit, the focus of UPMC should be medical care for the community and its people. The organization accepts donations from those people (and has done so for decades), in the form of charitable contributions and taxpayer-funded grants. Now, UPMC is stabbing those same people in the back by refusing to provide care if they have a Highmark policy. The Hillman Family Foundations have made large charitable contributions to the UPMC system for the good of the community for many years, and now large parts of the community will not have access to the facilities those contributions built. It seems like the UPMC board and its CEO are only seeing dollar signs as they seek to crush competition from Highmark and other insurers. Even Paul O’Neill, former Alcoa CEO, former U.S. secretary of the Treasury, and a former UPMC board member, said recently in Karen Kane’s excellent Read more

 

Voice your concerns to the UPMC board of directors

(May 31, 2019)

I’m writing you on a behalf of an editorial piece that was published Friday, May 24, regarding UPMC, its board of directors and CEO Jeffrey Romoff. Read more

 

Insurance Department teams with Realtors on tips to protect your home while vacationing

(May 29, 2019)

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Insurance Department today joined forces with the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors to re-launch a video and checklist offering homeowners tips on protecting their properties from break-ins while on vacation. “The Memorial Day holiday signals the traditional start of summer, and with most schools about to begin summer break, Pennsylvanians will very soon be hitting the road for summer vacations,” Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman said. “Before leaving for a trip, there are steps homeowners can take to lessen the chance of a break-in and perhaps save on their homeowners’ insurance as well.” The Insurance Department today re-posted on its homepage and on social media a video and checklist first released last year with tips on preventing home break-ins while away on vacation. The Pennsylvania Association of Realtors is also today running a story on this video and checklist in its daily, statewide e-newsletter, Just Listed, distributed to all member realtors, encouraging them to share this information with their clients. “As Realtors®, we are often faced with empty properties from homeowners who have already moved. The Insurance Department offers excellent tips on protecting your home when you’re not in it. I usually recommend to clients I’m working with that they make the home look as lived-in as possible, and that includes keeping up with cutting the grass, picking up mail Read more

 

DeLuca bill geared toward pharmacy technician oversight passes House, heads to state Senate

(May 16, 2019)

HARRISBURG, May 16 – On Wednesday, state Rep. Tony Deluca’s legislation, which would create a list of criteria for pharmacy technicians in Pennsylvania, passed the state House in overwhelming fashion. DeLuca’s measure, House Bill 770, would provide needed oversight for pharmacy technicians, who play a supportive role to licensed pharmacists and play an even larger role in hospitals, where they are asked to perform complex tasks, like mixing chemicals for chemotherapy treatments. “We’re grateful for the support and assistance provided by pharmacy technicians, but we currently have no oversight in Pennsylvania for a position that has a hand in filling residents’ prescriptions,” said DeLuca, D-Allegheny. “With an increase in prescriptions and a shortage of pharmacists, we need to – at the very least – ensure pharmacy technicians meet the minimal, universal standards, which is what this bill intends to do.” Under H.B. 770, pharmacy technicians would be required to: Register with the Pennsylvania Board of Pharmacy; Submit to a background check; Be at least 17 years old and have a high school diploma or the equivalent; and Go through a training program approved by the Pharmacy Board. Pennsylvania currently is one of four states in the U.S. that does not have any required criteria or oversight for pharmacy technicians, DeLuca added. “Errors cost more than money – they cost lives, Read more

 

DeLuca speaks in supports of residents who will be affected by UPMC/Highmark split

(May 15, 2019)

DeLuca speaks in support of commonwealth residents who will be affected by the UPMC/Highmark split. Read more

 

Protect yourself from identity theft by attending my shred event!

(May 13, 2019)

Bring your unneeded documents to safely discard at my free shredding event on Monday, May 20 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the parking lot in front of my office, 7205 Saltsburg Road, in the Alcoma Plaza in Penn Hills. Read more

 

5/3/19 – What Drives Pharmaceutical Costs? – Pittsburgh

(May 03, 2019)

Materials from House Democratic Policy Committee public roundtable hosted by State Rep. Tony DeLuca and State Rep. Dan Frankel. Read more

 

DeLuca, Frankel host Policy Committee roundtable on what drives pharmaceutical costs

(May 03, 2019)

PITTSBURGH, May 3 – State Representatives Tony DeLuca and Dan Frankel, both D-Allegheny, today hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee public roundtable discussion on pharmaceutical cost drivers at the Comfort Inn Conference Center. DeLuca and Frankel requested the meeting as Democratic Chairman of the House Insurance and Health Committees respectively to bring stakeholders and legislative colleagues from across the state to identify what makes prescription drugs so expensive. Improving patient access to medicines was also a highlight of the discussion. “The bottom line is people cannot afford their medicine. They are suffering through pain, discomfort and at risk all because they have to make a decision of whether to scale back dosages to pay a utility bill. This just isn’t right. We need our pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies to come together to work out solutions that help make sure people can afford their medicine and afford to get better per the doctor’s orders,” said DeLuca. "According to what we heard today, more than 80 percent of Pennsylvanians that are asked want aggressive action on pharmacy costs. That's Republicans and Democrats, because the pain of high drug costs is bi-partisan," said Frankel. "This conversation is the beginning step in bringing transparency to a complex industry. Now we must go further, and make both process, and costs, transparent." Panel participants Read more

 

DeLuca: Substantial tax credits, funding to go toward new retirement community in Penn Hills
Jul 12, 2019

DeLuca calls for state of emergency across Allegheny County
Jul 11, 2019

DeLuca applauds signing of H.B. 3, thanks governor, colleagues for their support
Jul 02, 2019

DeLuca: Republicans voted against consumer protections; bill would leave residents exposed to high medical costs
Jun 27, 2019

DeLuca votes “yes” on budget bill; cites substantial support for education as one of the driving factors in his decision
Jun 25, 2019

Slide repair on Hulton Road to begin July 1
Jun 25, 2019

DeLuca applauds UPMC/Highmark decision
Jun 24, 2019

The grass isn’t always greener on the other side
Jun 14, 2019

DeLuca saddened by court ruling on consent decree
Jun 14, 2019

DeLuca applauds passing of H.B. 3, hoping for quick vote in state Senate
Jun 11, 2019

My 2019 Spring Newsletter
Jun 07, 2019

DeLuca bill that adds stronger protections to life insurance products offered by fraternal benefit societies passes House
Jun 04, 2019

The UPMC/Highmark dispute needs to stop
Jun 04, 2019

Voice your concerns to the UPMC board of directors
May 31, 2019

Insurance Department teams with Realtors on tips to protect your home while vacationing
May 29, 2019

DeLuca bill geared toward pharmacy technician oversight passes House, heads to state Senate
May 16, 2019

DeLuca speaks in supports of residents who will be affected by UPMC/Highmark split
May 15, 2019

Protect yourself from identity theft by attending my shred event!
May 13, 2019

5/3/19 – What Drives Pharmaceutical Costs? – Pittsburgh
May 03, 2019

DeLuca, Frankel host Policy Committee roundtable on what drives pharmaceutical costs
May 03, 2019