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New Allyson Schwartz ad aggressively promotes her role in developing Obama's health care law

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HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania — U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz is airing a new TV campaign commercial that aggressively touts her involvement in President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

The ad makes Schwartz the only one of Pennsylvania's four Democratic gubernatorial candidates to devote an entire 30-second spot to the politically volatile issue. It was scheduled to begin running Tuesday in the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh markets.

Schwartz, the only congressional veteran in the race, says in the ad that she is proud the law seeks to expand health coverage, bars insurers from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions and closes a gap in prescription-drug coverage for seniors.

"Democrats not only in Pennsylvania but around the country should be running toward President Obama's health care law because it has provided coverage to 8 million Americans and will provide coverage to millions more," said her campaign spokesman, Mark Bergman.

Reaction from Schwartz's Democratic opponents was muted, but a campaign spokesman for state Treasurer Rob McCord questioned whether it would change any votes in the May 20 primary.

"I'm not sure that taking a position on an issue where all the candidates agree is going to set you apart from the field," said the spokesman, Mark Nevins.

The ad also criticizes Republican Gov. Tom Corbett for refusing expanded Medicaid coverage for hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvania residents while his administration seeks federal approval to instead subsidize an expansion of the private health insurance market.

Appearing Monday on MSNBC's "The Last Word," Schwartz said, 500,000 Pennsylvania residents "are not going to have access to health care coverage simply because Tom Corbett's decided that it's not the right thing to do politically."

Corbett campaign manager Mike Barley issued a statement calling the health care law a "legislative disaster."

Schwartz "has embraced an extreme liberal agenda in Washington ... and the disastrous health care takeover she helped to write and force upon hardworking Pennsylvanians," he said. "Now (she) hopes to bring those failed budget-busting Obama policies to Harrisburg."

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