The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

November 30, 2012

Altmire returning to health insurance field

Dave Sutor

JOHNSTOWN — A politician who earlier this year wanted to represent the 12th Congressional District in the U.S. House soon will be a lobbyist for a Florida health insurance provider.

Rep. Jason Altmire recently announced plans to join Florida Blue, the Sunshine State’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield company, soon after his time in Congress ends. He will serve as the senior vice president for public policy, government and community affairs.

Altmire currently represents Pennsylvania’s 4th district. However, in 2011, his hometown of McCandless Township was drawn together with territory that included Johnstown, where U.S. Rep. Mark Critz, a fellow Democrat, lives. They ran against each other in a rare incumbent-versus-incumbent primary in the 12th.

Critz beat Altmire, but later lost the 12th district seat to Republican Keith Rothfus in this year’s general election.

Rothfus is scheduled to take office on Jan. 3, the same day both Critz’s and Altmire’s terms will conclude.

“Serving the people of western Pennsylvania in the United States Congress has been the highest honor of my life,” Altmire said in a statement released by Florida Blue.

“During the past six years I have worked to represent every constituent in our diverse district and give western Pennsylvania a voice in Washington.”

Altmire had worked in government relations for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

“Now that the time has come to move on to the next phase of my life, I am delighted to return to my career roots in health care policy and community affairs,” said Altmire, a Florida State University graduate.

Patrick Geraghty, chairman and CEO of Florida Blue, said Altmire has “spent nearly his entire professional career working to make the U.S. health care system work more effectively through the development of well-crafted health care policy.”

Altmire served on the House Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee. In one of the biggest votes of his career, Altmire opposed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

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