The Democrat Running on Obamacare

Rep. Allyson Schwartz
National Journal
Karyn Bruggeman
Add to Briefcase
Karyn Bruggeman
April 23, 2014, 11:34 a.m.

Pennsylvania Demo­crat­ic gubernat­ori­al can­did­ate Allyson Schwartz doubled down Wed­nes­day on her out­spoken de­fense of Obama­care, chal­len­ging her op­pon­ents in the mul­tic­an­did­ate primary to speak up and take pride in a law many Demo­crats have shied away from em­bra­cing. In a 30-minute call with re­port­ers, Schwartz vig­or­ously de­fen­ded the law’s suc­cesses and prom­ised voters would hear more of the same on the cam­paign trail.

“I will say it quite a few more times in this cam­paign: I’m very proud of my work on the Af­ford­able Care Act,” said Schwartz, who as a con­gress­wo­man was the only can­did­ate in the Demo­crat­ic field to ac­tu­ally vote for the meas­ure.

Earli­er this week, Schwartz re­leased a new TV ad tout­ing the ACA, one of the few Demo­crats to go out of her way to sup­port a law that’s un­pop­u­lar with most voters. Her pivot to put the is­sue front and cen­ter makes her the most prom­in­ent Demo­crat in the coun­try to do so this cycle, and turns the heat up on oth­er Demo­crats in Pennsylvania and na­tion­wide who have scrambled to dodge the law’s more con­tro­ver­sial as­pects.

For Schwartz, pub­licly back­ing the law also rep­res­ents a gam­bit that its re­l­at­ive pop­ular­ity with Demo­crats will help her make up ground in the primary, where she trails the front-run­ning former state Rev­en­ue Sec­ret­ary Tom Wolf. She re­peatedly called out Wolf for be­ing “evas­ive” and “quiet” about the law and ques­tioned wheth­er voters could trust him to de­fend and carry out the full breadth of the law’s po­ten­tial.

“I have not heard that from any­one else, cer­tainly not from Tom Corbett and not from the oth­er Demo­crats either,” Schwartz said.

Dur­ing the call, Schwartz ticked off a list of the law’s pos­it­ives, in­clud­ing a ban on deny­ing in­sur­ance cov­er­age to chil­dren with preex­ist­ing con­di­tions, clos­ure of the donut hole on pre­scrip­tion-drug cov­er­age for seni­ors, and pro­vi­sions that not only be­ne­fit the work­ing poor but im­prove the qual­ity and bring down the cost of plans offered through private in­surers. Re­pub­lic­an ef­forts to re­peal the law in its en­tirety would deny Amer­ic­ans of those broad­er im­prove­ments, she said, not just halt its more con­tro­ver­sial ele­ments.

Crit­ics have sug­ges­ted that Schwartz’s ad isn’t risky becuase she’s us­ing it in a Demo­crat­ic primary in a state where the party still likes Pres­id­ent Obama. But Schwartz made it clear that were she to win the May 20 primary, she would cam­paign just as ag­gress­ively on the law’s pos­it­ives in the gen­er­al elec­tion against Re­pub­lic­an Gov. Tom Corbett.

“In the gen­er­al elec­tion I will go toe-to toe with Tom Corbett on im­ple­ment­a­tion of the ACA,” she said. “I’m happy to have that de­bate and I’m look­ing for­ward to hav­ing that de­bate.”

Schwartz’s strategy will please many pro­gress­ive Demo­crats, who have urged the party to ag­gress­ively em­brace the law and its pos­it­ive, and a cer­tain former pres­id­ent. In a March in­ter­view with Real Clear Polit­ics, Bill Clin­ton told Demo­crats to stop run­ning away from the law’s prob­lems and start stand­ing up for its suc­cesses. He called Demo­crats’ “tend­ency to shy away from things they had done that were un­pop­u­lar” a “mis­take.”

What We're Following See More »
TRUMP CONTINUES TO LAWYER UP
Kasowitz Out, John Dowd In
2 days ago
THE LATEST

As the Russia investigation heats up, "the role of Marc E. Kasowitz, the president’s longtime New York lawyer, will be significantly reduced. Mr. Trump liked Mr. Kasowitz’s blunt, aggressive style, but he was not a natural fit in the delicate, politically charged criminal investigation. The veteran Washington defense lawyer John Dowd will take the lead in representing Mr. Trump for the Russia inquiry."

Source:
ALSO INQUIRES ABOUT PARDON POWER
Trump Looking to Discredit Mueller
2 days ago
THE LATEST

President Trump's attorneys are "actively compiling a list of Mueller’s alleged potential conflicts of interest, which they say could serve as a way to stymie his work." They plan to argued that Mueller is going outside the scope of his investigation, in inquiring into Trump's finances. They're also playing small ball, highlighting "donations to Democrats by some of" Mueller's team, and "an allegation that Mueller and Trump National Golf Club in Northern Virginia had a dispute over membership fees when Mueller resigned as a member in 2011." Trump is said to be incensed that Mueller may see his tax returns, and has been asking about his power to pardon his family members.

Source:
INCLUDES NY PROBE INTO MANAFORT
Why Yes, Mueller Is Looking into Trump Businesses
3 days ago
THE LATEST

In addition to ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, Robert Mueller's team is also "examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates, according to a person familiar with the probe. FBI investigators and others are looking at Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development in New York with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008, the person said. The investigation also has absorbed a money-laundering probe begun by federal prosecutors in New York into Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort."

Source:
Mueller Expands Probe to Trump Business Transactions
3 days ago
THE DETAILS

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team is "is examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates", including "Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008."

Source:
ANALYSIS FROM CBO
32 Million More Uninsured by 2026 if Obamacare Repealed
3 days ago
THE LATEST

"A Senate bill to gut Obamacare would increase the number of uninsured people by 32 million and double premiums on Obamacare's exchanges by 2026, according to an analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The analysis is of a bill that passed Congress in 2015 that would repeal Obamacare's taxes and some of the mandates. Republicans intend to leave Obamacare in place for two years while a replacement is crafted and implemented."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login