The media is visiting all corners of Pennsylvania over the next several days. The democratic primary race between long time, former Navy admiral, Joe Sestak and long-time, former Republican incumbent Arlen Specter is about to hit a fever pitch.
Sestak has consistently responded to constituents needs, concerns, and interests since he took office.The concerns are not always easy. Sestak made himself during the health care vote battle and immediately following the vote. In addition, Sestak appreciates the need for quality, affordable health care both for the patients and clinicians. Sestak remains one of the most active congressman in office today and has helped to make college more affordable, address predatory lending practices, and improve the nation’s health care system.
On health care, it is clear Sestak is the best choice for our health. Understanding the unique challenges of navigating a safe journey through health care as a result of his daughter’s fight with brain cancer, Sestak knew his experience and access could help create safe journeys for other children and families. He proposed several highly regarded solutions to the health care issue as a member of the Small Business and Education and Labor Committees’ health care subcommittees. Through and eight step process he proposed shifting from fee for service, “pay providers adequately; give patients the same choices as Members of Congress; share the costs; expand transitional health tax credits; institute mental health parity; improve performance in treating chronic disease and increase the use of health information technology”. Physicians and medical providers agreed with Sestak’s approach as well.
He remains consistent in his message and active for Pennsylvanians.
Specter spent over three decades as a republican but switched back to the democratic party again last year in hopes of maintaining influence in Washington. Specter, unfortunately, has lost touch with his incumbents in recent years. Even his office staff has been unable to put considerate and meaningful responses to constituent concerns. Just a couple of weeks ago an incumbent received a response from Specter to a concern expressed over four months ago. The letter from Specter spelled the constituent’s name wrong, did not identify what the issue was he was responding to, or what he would be doing about it, or even suggest to the constituent how to handle the concern.
Whereas Specter switched parties in 2009 to be around the likes of Sestak (and long-time democrats) who had researched and understood the best ways to improve health care, many of his constituents switched parties in 2008 to get away from out-of-touch politicians. There is a number of Pennsylvania former republicans that are now democrats because they do want change.
After voting for Specter for so many years, than to switch parties and still be asked to vote for him – no, thank you. That is why they switched in the first place.