By Cyrus Musiker
Pete Stark has specialized in health care during much of his 40 years in Congress. He’s helped pass some of the nation’s most far-reaching laws in that area, including the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare” to some); a law that says emergency rooms are required to admit patients who can’t pay; and COBRA, which lets workers and their families temporarily remain covered under an employer’s health plan even after leaving their job.
Stark says he considers himself a health care “expert.”
“But there’s lots to be done,” he adds. “I would like to work until we see that every resident of the United States has access to health care regardless of their income or health status.”
In a normal year, voters would probably have granted him yet another term to do that work. But in this election cycle, he has to fight to be re-elected because of the state’s “Top Two” primary system and newly drawn congressional districts that have changed business as usual.