Nobody from the Allyson Schwartz campaign wanted to give us a password for their Obamacare call with reporters today, obviously, probably because they don’t want to answer our questions about her record of standing with Republicans to undermine the cost control provisions in the law that big hospital corporations don’t like.
That’s politics for you, but anyway, the news out of the call was that Schwartz took a shot at Tom Wolf for supposedly being weak on Obamacare, or something. Actually, Wolf has been more supportive of Obamacare than Schwartz, and wants to go further than the law does in some areas, which is why he called it “a step in the right direction.”
For example, while the Schwartz campaign was being cagey about whether they’d leave Tom Corbett’s fake “private option” expansion in place rather than expanding the public option (they finally committed to undoing it when pressed), Tom Wolf was taking direct aim at the fake expansion:
Gov. Corbett’s Medicaid proposal gives money to private insurance companies at the expense of Pennsylvania families. Furthermore, after years of delay, Gov. Corbett’s proposal also requires approval and negotiation, needlessly delaying getting half-a-million working people covered.
We know that expanding Medicaid will increase health care coverage to nearly half-a-million Pennsylvanians, save the commonwealth millions of dollars and pump billions into the state’s economy.
We need to expand Medicaid, we cannot simply afford Gov. Corbett’s political games.
Expanding Medicaid is just the first step.
Wolf also wants to go further on issues like home care than I’ve heard any of the other candidates go. Unlike some politicians, he doesn’t think our parents and grandparents should be forced into nursing homes if they’d rather receive care at home – which is actually cheaper in many cases:
In addition to expanding Medicaid, I will work to control costs and increase transparency by creating a state insurance exchange and exploring the possibility of other health care reforms.
Once we make our insurance system more fair, then we have to improve long-neglected areas of our health care system like home health care for seniors.
Too many of our seniors are forced to move to nursing homes, often leaving homes they lived in their entire lives, because they can no longer fully care for themselves and their families lack the resources to provide care.
Read his health care platform. There’s absolutely nothing in there to suggest that Wolf is a half-hearted supporter of Obamacare, and in many cases he’s willing to go further than Schwartz.
So what’s going on here? I think this is a classic play from the Karl Rove playbook – hitting your opponent on an issue that you yourself are weak on.
Allyson Schwartz is one of Obamacare’s biggest frenemies in Congress. She’s worked to undermine key cost controls that special interests don’t like, at the same time as she stresses her support for the law overall.
This isn’t stuff that the average voter pays attention to, but it’s exactly the type of thing that high-information influentials and liberal activists are looking at when trying to differentiate between the candidates, and Schwartz is trying to throw them off the Third Way scent with this weird attack line. But don’t be confused – Allyson Schwartz is the weakest supporter of the Affordable Care Act, and if she’s in charge of implementing it, we’re likely getting one of the most conservative reform packages of any blue state.