— Amy McGrath (@AmyMcGrathKY) August 1, 2017
McGrath describes herself as an introvert who does not seek attention. Her decision to run started when she reflected on the 2016 election outcome.
“I realized that I had to do something. I felt like I had two choices: I could accept things the way they were, sort of politics as usual, or I could accept the responsibility for trying to change something, trying to do something.”
She sees her gender and military history as a plus, but not the reason she’s running. McGrath notes that, when compared to other countries, women have a very low representation rate in the US Legislature. She also observes that representation by veterans is at an historic low.
The need for more veterans, she says, is important because “they’re a group of people who really put the country first. They put their lives on the line, they sacrifice, they know how to get a mission done.”
Military experience also provides her with an opportunity to connect with moderates. “With regard to the more moderates, I have spent 20 years as a United States Marine. I’m a little more realistic when it comes to some of these foreign policy, defense policy issues, some of the things we do overseas. And so I really feel like I can connect to the more moderates.”
McGrath credits her 20 year career in the military to progressive government officials who opened the military door to women. She notes that at a time when Congress was saying no to women in the military, “it was those progressives who said, ‘No. We should have the best person doing those jobs, and our goal is to fight and win wars. So we should have the best person.'”
The final straw in her decision to run was the Republicans’ attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Kentuckians are facing a cross-roads when it comes to health care.
Former Democratic Governor Steve Beshear signed onto Medicaid expansion because of Kentucky’s high rates of unemployment, opioid addiction, smoking, cancer deaths, and diabetes. Beshear’s efforts landed Kentucky with the highest growth rate in Medicaid coverage in the US.
In 2015, Kentucky elected a Republican Governor, Matt Bevin, who is leading an effort to rollback Medicaid. He has proposed laws and requested federal waivers aimed at kicking 86,000 Medicaid recipients off the roles within five years. The changes Bevin is looking for focus on work requirements for able-bodied adults; fees based on income; and lock-outs for missed payments or failure to re-enroll.
The Republican incumbent Rep. Andy Barr, that McGrath is running against, claims that “Obamacare cannot be fixed.” In turn, he has faced rowdy town halls.