HARRISBURG, April 29, 2013 – State Sen. Wayne D. Fontana (D-Allegheny) issued the following statement in response to the state Department of Insurance’s decision today to approve the merger between Highmark and West Penn Allegheny Health System:

“I am pleased with the approval of this affiliation and am confident this will lead to enhanced health care, reduced consumer health care costs and other benefits that this heightened level of competition will bring throughout our region.

“I am satisfied with and applaud the state Department of Insurance’s review of this matter. The department put a great deal of time and effort into examining thousands of documents that pertained to a wide range of factors and issues involved in such a complex merger.

“Western Pennsylvania’s health care community has already earned a worldwide reputation for its embrace of cutting edge treatment and research. This merger will only strengthen and enhance this standard of excellence.

“I will continue to monitor the progress of this transaction and see to it that the public, workers and our entire region benefit from this merger.”

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