Highmark Inc. and some western Pennsylvania lawmakers are pushing the Pennsylvania Insurance Department to step up its review of a proposed $475 million affiliation agreement with West Penn Allegheny Health System, but the state agency doesn't want to act so quickly.

"While the department is encouraged that the parties are working together, the department can't evaluate a hypothetical transaction or one that is not in final form," deputy insurance Commissioner Stephen Johnson wrote Highmark last week.

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