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Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale speaks at a news conference Dec. 11, 2019, in Harrisburg, Pa. DePasquale, a Democrat, is running for Congress against Republican Rep. Scott Perry. (AP) Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale speaks at a news conference Dec. 11, 2019, in Harrisburg, Pa. DePasquale, a Democrat, is running for Congress against Republican Rep. Scott Perry. (AP)

Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale speaks at a news conference Dec. 11, 2019, in Harrisburg, Pa. DePasquale, a Democrat, is running for Congress against Republican Rep. Scott Perry. (AP)

Tom Kertscher
By Tom Kertscher September 10, 2020

In Pa. House race, Perry fails to tie DePasquale to AOC over defunding police, socialized medicine

If Your Time is short

  • In a tossup Pennsylvania House race, Democrat Eugene DePasquale does not support socialized medicine, the Green New Deal or defunding the police.

In a tossup race in Pennsylvania, Republican Rep. Scott Perry links Democratic challenger Eugene DePasquale to a more liberal Democrat, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

But DePasquale doesn’t share Ocasio-Cortez’s position on any of the three issues Perry cites.

The race is one of 18 pivotal House and Senate contests up for election on Nov. 3 that PolitiFact is tracking. 

Using Ocasio-Cortez’s well-known initials, Perry claims in a TV ad that "AOC" and DePasquale support "socialized medicine," the Green New Deal and defunding the police.

Midway through the 30-second spot, the image of a clenched fist and the words "radical socialist agenda" appear between photos of Ocasio-Cortez and DePasquale, who is Pennsylvania’s auditor.

DePasquale does not support any of the three proposals.

"Socialized medicine"

A few words on health care verbiage:

  • Universal coverage is any method of ensuring that all of a country’s residents have health insurance. 

  • Single-payer is a system in which one entity — usually but not always a government, as with Medicare — pays for needed health care services, but the delivery system remains mostly private. 

    Featured Fact-check

  • That’s not the same as socialized medicine, which generally refers to a system in which the government pays all the bills, owns the health facilities and employs the health professionals who work there. 

Ocasio-Cortez: Her House website calls her "an unapologetic advocate of Medicare for All, which would create a universal, single payer healthcare system." 

DePasquale: Perry cited a March 2020 interview in which DePasquale said he supports universal health care, not socialized medicine. He said he backs allowing people the option to keep their private coverage, such as from an employer, or buy into Medicare. And he supports enrolling in Medicaid those who can’t afford either of those options. DePasquale has said he does not support Medicare for All.

Green New Deal

Ocasio-Cortez: She introduced the Green New Deal, which proposes ways to curb climate change and protect the environment, in February 2019. 

DePasquale: In July 2019, a day after announcing his candidacy, DePasquale said he would not push for policies such as the Green New Deal and Medicare for All that are advocated by the more liberal wing of the party, the York Dispatch reported.

Defunding the police

Ocasio-Cortez: In June, after the New York City Council and Mayor Bill de Blasio reached a deal to cut $1 billion from the New York Police Department’s $6 billion budget, Ocasio-Cortez said: "Defunding police means defunding police. It does not mean budget tricks or funny math. ...This is not a victory. The fight to defund policing continues."

DePasquale: DePasquale said in June he supports police reforms such as curbing the transfer of military grade weapons to local law enforcement, providing antibias training and banning chokeholds, but that "defunding our police departments is not the answer."

Our ruling

DePasquale does not support "socialized medicine," the Green New Deal or defunding the police. 

We rate Perry’s claim False.

Our Sources

YouTube, Scott Perry "Plain Crazy" ad, Aug. 31, 2020 

Email, Scott Perry campaign spokesman Matt Beynon, Sept. 9, 2020

Email, Eugene DePasquale campaign spokesman Kunal Atit, Sept. 8, 2020

Pennsylvania Capital-Star, "Brier pitches change, DePasquale experience to flip 10th Congressional District seat blue," Feb. 26, 2020

Pennsylvania Capital-Star, "Forget the bio, here’s the red meat: Pa’s Perry ties Dem DePasquale to AOC in first ad," Sept. 2, 2020

Eugene DePasquale campaign website, "Health Care," accessed Sept. 9, 2020

Eugene DePasquale campaign website, "Climate Change And The Environment," accessed Sept. 9, 2020

Eugene DePasquale campaign website, "Law Enforcement Accountability," accessed Sept. 9, 2020

Eugene DePasquale campaign, news release, June 24, 2020

PoliticsPa.com, "PA10: Perry Links DePasquale to AOC in Opening TV Ad," Sept. 8, 2020

PolitiFact, "6 things to know about health care and the 2020 campaign," Jan. 30, 2020

Battleground PA podcast, Eugene DePasquale interview (8:00), March 10, 2020

York Dispatch, "Analysis: With eye on Pa.'s 10th District, Democrat DePasquale charts center course," July 3, 2019

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In Pa. House race, Perry fails to tie DePasquale to AOC over defunding police, socialized medicine

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