inside sources print logo
Get up to date Delaware Valley news in your inbox

Meet The Other Doctor in PA’s U.S. Senate Race

Currently, four physicians are serving in the United States Senate, and TV celebrity Dr. Oz has made headlines with news that he hopes to join them.

But another local physician, Dr. Kevin Baumlin, has also thrown his stethoscope into the ring. Baumlin, a Democrat who works in a Philadelphia emergency room, hopes to change healthcare and society as a whole.

“I wasn’t really planning on running for Senate,” Baumlin told Delaware Valley Journal. “We started a not-for-profit just before COVID. That was going to be our legacy project. We’ve been very successful in our lives and we wanted to do something good to give back as we transition to the next part of our lives and careers.”

What pushed Baumlin to run for Senate are his concerns about issues like healthcare. As a physician, one of Baumlin’s top priorities is reforming Medicare and improving the care older adults receive.

“The issues I want to work on are federal-level issues,” Baumlin explained. “So, from a health care perspective, I want to work on fixing Medicare. Number one is to get homecare services included as a benefit. So you get at least four hours of care [for your older adult family members]. My parents are in their 80s and I’m 57 and my mom has some health problems and getting her homecare so my dad can go to his golf game is a big topic of conversation. It’s $25 an hour, out of pocket, and it’s not covered by Medicare.”

According to a Genworth survey, between now and 2030 more than 10,000 people will turn 65 every day. In addition, seven out of 10 people will need long-term homecare and, according to Medicare’s website, that type of long-term care isn’t covered.

It’s not just Medicare and older adult care that Baumlin wants to improve. He hopes to tackle the cost of healthcare for all Americans.

“I want to work on legislation to make healthcare portable and affordable,” Baumlin said. “By that I mean have no copays and no deductibles. Because that’s what makes young families go broke. Literally.

“If you make $34,000 a year and you have a $9,000 deductible, that’s 20 percent of your income. How can you budget for that? Because all of that money has already been budgeted out. There’s no extra $500 a month hanging out so you can pay your minimum for your $9,000 deductible. It’s just not in anyone’s budget. And that’s not okay and we need to fix that.”

Ending fracking is also a big concern that Baumlin hopes to address. He sent a letter to one of his opponents in the Democratic primary, Montgomery County Commissioners Chair Dr. Val Arkoosh, urging her to join him in opposing the practice that has created thousands of jobs and millions of dollars of revenue for the state.

“As medical health professionals, we have both seen first hand the dangerous impacts fracking has had on Pennsylvania families living within a one-mile radius of a fracking site,” Baumlin wrote to Arkoosh, an anesthesiologist. He said that he will “make it a priority to end fracking on day one” if he’s elected.

Senators do not have the power to end policies like fracking.

Baumlin also wants to raise the minimum wage.

“All the parents deserve to have a job where they make $15 to $20 an hour so they can work one shift instead of two. So they can be home to help with homework and things like that,” he said.

And, Baumlin says he believes changes to the education system are needed to bring about fundamental changes to our society.

“We need to work on how education is funded,” Baumlin said. “So that we decrease the inequitable society we have and fund urban areas and urban schools so that we can raise people up with a good education and give them the foundations they need so that they can succeed and right the wrongs of the past. To me, that’s social justice.”


Follow us on social media: Twitter: @DV_Journal or

PA Gov. Wolf Issues Executive Orders on Minimum Wage, Worker Safety

Gov. Tom Wolf signed an executive order Thursday raising the minimum wage for workers at companies that receive state grants, loans, or tax relief to $13.50 an hour. It is now the minimum hourly rate for state employees.

At a press conference near Pittsburgh Thursday, Wolf pointed out the current $7.25 minimum wage in Pennsylvania is less than workers are paid in all surrounding states. New Jersey’s minimum wage is $12. New York’s is $13.20, Ohio’s is $9.30, and West Virginia’s is $8.75.

Wolf also called on the state legislature to pass laws requiring paid sick leave, institute federal workplace protections, and raise the minimum wage for all workers to $12.00 with a path toward $15 an hour by 2024.

“With our economy on the comeback, there are so many job openings that people can select the option that is best for their family. This has created a tremendous moment for workers,” said Wolf in a press release. “With Pennsylvanians’ renowned work ethic, this is an opportunity to improve jobs and workplaces. My workforce plan will create safer workplaces, guarantee paid leave, and promote higher wages for workers.”

But Commonwealth Foundation Vice President Nate Benefield said Wolf’s actions were unnecessary because wages are already rising.

“Everything in Wolf’s action Thursday was meaningless and unnecessary,” said Benefield. “Wages have consistently risen in Pennsylvania because of market forces, and are rising now due to high demand for labor. Government mandates are neither helpful in raising wages or helping employers fill jobs. All this activity was simply virtue signaling to appeal to Wolf’s campaign donors (government union bosses).”

And  Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward (R-Westmoreland) said, “Pennsylvanians are tired of still dealing with the effects of the political agenda forced on them throughout the pandemic. From selective business closures, to mask and vaccine mandates, to breaching Pennsylvanians’ personal health information, as well as the inability to properly process unemployment claims, Pennsylvanians are worn out by the uncertainty presented by the Wolf administration.”

Wolf’s announcement is “one more attempt to bypass the voice of the people,” Ward added. “The efforts outlined today to protect Pennsylvania workplaces is a ruse that further opens the door to executive branch overreach, crushes small businesses, and generates greater confusion for employers to keep their employees employed and safe. Pennsylvanians have already spoken when it comes to government interference in our lives and workplaces when they voted to limit the governor’s executive powers with the passage of the constitutional amendment in the primary.”

Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce CEO Gene Barr said the Chamber “appreciates the governor’s intent” but warned of unintended consequences. “For example, requiring strict wage and benefit standards for employers to qualify for state aid may not impact larger corporations but could pull critical lifelines from small businesses already struggling through pandemic and workforce crises,” Barr warned in a statement.

“The governor has also called for public shaming of employers who violate labor laws,” Barr said.  “We certainly support holding accountable those who skirt the law, harming employees and creating an unfair advantage over law-abiding competitors. At the same time, policymakers should recognize that violations are often unintentional and eventually remedied. Employment laws and regulations are notoriously complicated; such as similar federal and state laws that include subtle differences creating what’s known as the ‘compliance trap.’

The governor mentioned employers owing unemployment compensation back taxes, but some may not even be aware they owe, especially after the chaos of the last year and a half.  We would hope a public list of ‘bad actors’ only includes companies who violate the law and willfully fail to comply after exhausting appeals or any administrative resolution process,” Barr said. “We look forward to working with the administration as it further develops these policies.”