Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Schwartz airs first ad, touts role in CHIP

U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz is joining the TV fray in the Democratic race for governor of Pennsylvania, airing an ad that spotlights her advocacy of the iconic Children's Health Insurance Program in the 1990s.

Schwartz airs first ad, touts role in CHIP

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U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz talks about her plans for education reform in Pennsylvania during a November debate. MICHAEL BRYANT, File / Staff Photographer
U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz talks about her plans for education reform in Pennsylvania during a November debate. MICHAEL BRYANT, File / Staff Photographer

U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz launches her first TV ad in the Democratic primary for governor Monday, a 30-second spot that highlights her work in the state senate helping enact a landmark children’s health insurance program.

 “Got it Done” credits Schwartz, of Montgomery County, with “pushing” in the state Senate, where the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) had stalled before it was passed in 1992 and then-Gov. Robert P. Casey Sr. signed it into law.

“It’s the kind of big ideas, it’s the kind of experience, it’s the kind of leadership I’ll bring as your next governor,” Schwartz, who is filmed speaking from a podium, says in the commercial.

For years, Schwartz has called herself the “mother of CHIP,” and critics have accused her of exaggerating her role in the creation of the program, saying that Allen Kukovich, then a state representative, and Casey deserved most of the credit.

Kukovich had worked on the idea for several years before Schwartz was elected to the Senate in 1990, though she sponsored a Senate version that mirrored Casey’s preferred plan to offer coverage to children under the age of 7 whose parents were not eligible for Medicaid but who had no health insurance.

The ad does not claim that Schwartz was the prime mover behind CHIP, and her campaign provided a copy of the ad along with a March statement by Kukovich. “We couldn’t have passed the Pennsylvania Children’s Health Insurance Program out of the Senate without the leadership of Allyson Schwartz,” Kukovich said in the statement. He called Schwartz “an instrumental partner” in the creation of the program.

The ad will begin airing in the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh media markets.

Schwartz, who served in the state Senate for 14 years, was elected to the U.S. House in 2004, representing the 13th District of Pennsylvania.

Inquirer Politics Writer
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Inquirer staff writer Thomas Fitzgerald blogs about national politics.

Reach Thomas at tfitzgerald@phillynews.com.

Tom Fitzgerald
Thomas Fitzgerald Inquirer Politics Writer
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