Congressman Bob “Peter Russo” Brady, the Democrat who has represented Pennsylvania’s 1st District since 1998 looks like he has a real challenger this fall.
Megan Rath, 34, a health care specialist whose job entails providing operating room advice to surgeons concerning medical equipment, is the Republican nominee and she is taking it seriously.
She has meet with municipal leaders and ward leaders throughout the city and the Delaware County towns that make up the district.
And they’ve been friendly.
Even the Democrats.
Democrat power aside, wealthy Mr. Brady may not be as well-liked as he thinks.
Ms. Rath says she was motivated to run by the aggressive and disruptive changes to our current health care system. She has seen people lose their insurance and/or pay higher deductibles. Patients have decided to not to have surgery due to the doubling and tripling of their deductibles. She feels the crisis is only beginning. She has ideas that would solve it without a requiring a full repeal of Obamacare, namely ending its personal and business mandates as well as making the prices of procedures and testing transparent.
“No one knows how much something costs until you have the test or procedure done,” she says. “Patients are completely left in the dark.”
She says one of the unintended consequences of Obamacare is the early retirement of doctors and the reluctance of talented people to pursue careers as primary care physicians.
If a primary-care physician shortage occurs, those who have come to expect seeing doctors will find themselves seeing nurse practitioners.
“Primary care physicians are essential to our health care system,” she said. “We need to find a way to encourage people in medical school to pursue careers as primary care physicians. Practitioners are part of the team but they do no replace doctors.”
It’s not only the rich that expect doctors, by the way. Ms. Rath says she has administered first aid to a gunshot victim outside her home in the city’s Fairmount section. She sent him off to the emergency room pointing out that they can’t turn someone away.
A nice thing as long as the emergency rooms still have doctors.
Brady, whose bread is buttered by Philadelphia’s and Washington’s special interests, obviously, stands in the way of any solutions.
Ms. Rath’s is also making an issue of energy, another potential weak spot for Brady, who has allowed the leadership in the fight to save the riverfront refineries to pass to the Republicans, especially Congressman Pat Meehan and Gov. Tom Corbett.
Meehan was warning about the danger of their closings in 2011. Brady was silent.
Ms. Rath notes that Pennsylvania needs to pursue the natural gas in the Marcellus Shale. Brady has been reluctant to buck the environmental church-members that dominate his party to push for the expansion of production.
Her other big concern is education. She says safety need to be a huge priority in Philadelphia public schools. She says making sure that they are adequately financed is only part of the solution.
She does triathlons. She is in it for the long haul.