In other areas of the country, the Affordable Care Act has become something Democrats run from and Republicans frame as the symbol of failed Democratic Party policies, but in Pennsylvania’s 13th Congressional District, one of the bluest districts in the entire country, congressional candidate Dr. Valerie Arkoosh is championing her role in getting “Obamacare” passed.
In the ad, Arkoosh says, ““I worked with people from all over the country to come together and make sure that Congress heard clearly that we needed to get health care reform passed…..I’ve spent a whole career taking care of people like Sarah. That’s why I’m running, because I know that the policies we enact in Washington really do make a difference in people’s lives.”
During a recent debate between Arkoosh and the other three candidates in the May primary, State Representative Brendan Boyle, Former Congresswoman Marjorie Margolies, and State Senator Daylin Leach, Arkoosh discussed the challenge of convincing other activists and policy-makers to shift focus from the public option, when it was clear that the idea would not have necessary traction with Republican lawmakers. Despite her status as the only non-lawmaker in the race, Arkoosh has exhibited to voters that she is not without a serious level of policy experience.
A recent influx of funding from American Society of Anesthesiologists, which will spend $176,000 on radio ads, may help to improve Arkoosh’s odds in this race. Her name recognition among eligible 13th district voters is not nearly as formidable as her vast array of accomplishments as a healthcare policy advocate.
One thing is for certain – if Arkoosh somehow pulled out a win in this race, however unlikely, she’d bring to the position a new practical, grassroots perspective on health policy that Congresswoman Schwartz has not been known for, as someone more beholden to health insurance and pharmaceutical lobbyists than most.