Despite heated words in progressive circles during the health care vote, House Democrats who bucked the party last year and voted against the Affordable Care Act had little to fear from primary challengers. Until now: Dan Lipinski is facing a highly credible challenge in his Chicago district from the left that could put his health care vote front and center
John Atkinson, a health care activist and insurance executive, is laying the groundwork for a high-spending campaign, reports Politico. Atkinson has not formally announced a run, but calls health care his "threshold issue" and says that Lipinski's opposition to the ACA "caused me to open my eyes a little bit."
Atkinson opened some eyes of his own with a huge $535,000 fundraising quarter this year, the most of any Democratic challenger. $270,000 came out of his own pocket.
Lipinski, who is pro-life, voted against the final health care law because he felt its language on abortion wasn't sufficiently restrictive. He took office in 2005 after succeeding his father, Bill Lipinski, who held the seat for over two decades. The seat is solidly Democratic, voting 64% for President Obama in 2008, providing an opening for a progressive challenger.