Long time health executive Chelle DiAngelus is now running for Congress in Central Florida, hoping to defeat a crowded Republican primary field to face off against U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., in November.

DiAngelus spent years working for Advent Health, planning how and where the company should grow in Central Florida.  She eyed entering this race because of what she perceives as a big opening in the GOP primary.

“I think that I have some things to offer that are not present in the current field,” she told Florida Daily.

Notably, DiAngelus believes a woman is best suited to take on incumbent U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla.

“About 10 percent of the Republican women crossed the aisle to vote for a female option in voting for Stephanie Murphy,” she said.

DiAngelus also believes her background sets her apart, pointing at the other candidate in the Republican field in the medical industry, Leo Valentin.

“We have a physician in the race, but he’s been limited to just a physician’s perspective.  Working in a hospital system, you interact with a lot of the different parts of the healthcare system. So I think I bring a unique perspective for the voters there,” DiAngelus said.

DiAngelus hopes to make her mark on healthcare if she can get to Washington.

“I believe we need to repeal and replace Obamacare and preserve the preexisting conditions. I think we need to have a lot more transparency between all of the different players in healthcare, and a lot more transparency about cost and price to the consumer,” DiAngelus told Florida Daily but it’s the replace part is where things can get tricky.

DiAngelus said she does not think the Republicans have done a good job of putting an adequate replacement for Obamacare forward, adding this will be one of her top priorities in Washington.

“I think having concrete ways to address the opioid problem because of the cost that brings into the system, concrete ways to address mental health issues. I think addressing network adequacy, where we need to coverage for patients and consumers in the market. I think we have to craft what that solution is,” she said.

She pointed to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and its problems as an example of why a single-payer system would be a bad idea.

DiAngelus faces a crowded primary but hopes she can go toe-to-toe in the fall with Murphy.

“She’s identified herself as a centrist or a moderate.  I don’t believe that all of her votes have aligned with that.” In particular, she is upset that Murphy hasn’t tackled education scams and student debt, pointing out that she has done nothing about Full Sail University in her district, noting the school lacks the prestige of being regionally accredited and costs as much as $40,000 and was founded by the congresswoman’s father-in-law.

DiAngelus said she intends to focus on education and health right away.

“I think there’s a lot of low hanging fruit opportunities for us to move forward from here in working together and really identifying what are the quickest impact solutions that we can focus on together…. In my career I had to learn how to create a budget, how to live within a budget, how to create a plan to either leverage an opportunity or resolve an issue. I had to learn how to execute on that plan, and I had to learn how to report back to my constituents on that.  I think that we need to elect more officials like that to Congress who are focused on issue resolution,” she said.


Reach Mike Synan at mike.synan@floridadaily.com.


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