State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

The State House Sound Bites Podcast is now called State of the State and is a part of PA Post, a digital-first, citizen-focused news organization to hold Pennsylvania’s government accountable to its citizens.

Malpractice insurer sues PA for the third time in three years

Written by Katie Meyer, Capitol Bureau Chief | Jul 3, 2018 5:46 AM

In their 2018-19 fiscal year budget, lawmakers included a provision to absorb the Joint Underwriting Association into the Insurance Department. (Photo by AP)


(Harrisburg) -- Governor Tom Wolf and legislative leaders are being sued in federal court over a budget provision to fold a medical malpractice insurer and its assets into the state Insurance Department.

It's the latest development in the commonwealth's repeated attempts to take $200 million from the group's surplus.

This is the third time the Joint Underwriting Association has sued the state--insisting its funds are separate from the commonwealth's, its employees don't receive state benefits, and it's not housed in a state building.

In May, a middle district judge sided with it--declaring the association a private entity.

Lawmakers passed over the appropriation strategy in the latest budget, instead opting to entirely absorb the JUA's operation--which covers hard-to-insure medical practitioners--into the Insurance Department.

So now, the group is suing again.

This time, it's saying the state is trying to illegally requisition private property and make the JUA a "puppet of the Commonwealth."

It has also filed a motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against the move.

Spokespeople for the Wolf administration have declined to comment, citing pending litigation.

Published in News, State House Sound Bites

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