Essential Pittsburgh
4:55 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Dem. Candidate Schwartz: Corbett's Affordable Care Act Response a Failure

Credit 13th Congressional District, Pennsylvania / flickr

Allyson Schwartz, a Democratic candidate for governor, said Pennsylvania is looking for someone with a proven track record to replace Gov. Tom Corbett and his “failed leadership.”

On Tuesday, she said one of his “failures” was his response to the Affordable Care Act, which she wrote provisions to as a U.S. Representative.

Corbett chose not to take part in Medicaid expansion and instead submitted a proposal to use the federal dollars to help eligible adults buy private insurance policies, a strategy Schwartz disagrees with.

“What I would do, make sure that not only are those people covered but that we do it in the most cost efficient way, make sure that we again focus on primary care, coordinated care, cost-effective care, to make sure those Pennsylvania families are healthier,” Schwartz said. “These are working families in Pennsylvania (who) simply can’t afford insurance.”

Schwartz noted that there are also a lot of working Pennsylvanians who don’t have enough money to afford market rate housing — even if they’re working full time.

According to her, the private sector creates jobs, but the government can help, too.

“What the government can do is to make sure we create the environment for job creation, and it’s a competitive environment, and the world is changing on us a little bit, so we need to be able to be competitive,” Schwartz said.  “What that means is investing in education, it’s making sure that a skilled workforce is a truly skilled workforce for the jobs of the future.”

She proposed building on apprentice programs and providing incentives to private companies to bring on apprentices.

Schwartz said she also believes the commonwealth’s workforce could benefit from Marcellus Shale, but only if it is used safely.

“That is an opportunity, we’d have to do it responsibly and protect the environment, and I would, that creates an opportunity for us to see some manufacturing jobs, build in the healthcare sector, some of those high tech jobs that we talked about, provide [medical] devices…and medications that have to be manufactured,” Schwartz said.

The Democratic primary takes place May 20.