PHOENIX — A new investigation into Hiral Tipirneni’s work history has raised questions about whether the congressional candidate inflated her professional resume on the campaign trail.
The investigative segment, aired by ABC15 on Tuesday evening, opened with an eyebrow-raising statement: “You could call Hiral Tipirneni ‘a doctor.’ Just don’t try getting an appointment.”
Tipirneni, a Democrat running for the open seat in Arizona’s eighth congressional district, has not shied away from touting her work as a physician during campaign events, at candidate forums, and in television ads.
But ABC15’s investigation found that, while Tipirneni may be wearing medical scrubs and interacting with patients in those campaign ads, the candidate has not actually treated any patients since 2007. That’s more than a decade ago.
The station also discovered the Democrat’s name in court filings related to medical malpractice claims.
“The last month of Tipirneni’s tenure as an ER doctor included settling a malpractice lawsuit,” ABC15’s reporter continued. “The plaintiff, an elderly woman, suffered a leg wound in 2001 and went to what’s now Banner University hospital. The woman accused Tipirneni and the ER doctor group there of failing to give her a medically necessary tetanus immunization, and she actually got tetanus, went into a coma, and had life-long injuries and disability.”
The station followed up by asking, then, whether it is “disingenuous” for her to appear in political ads wearing scrubs, to which Tipirneni responded “no.”
The Democrat’s longtime claim that she is a “cancer research advocate” is true — with an emphasis on the “advocate.” Tipirneni does not actually perform any research herself but rather “worked for a company that pairs medical researchers with groups (or the government) that fund medical research,” according to ABC15’s reporter. (One of her responsibilities was speaking engagements.)
The company she worked for received a lucrative $92 million contract during the Obama administration to help implement the Affordable Care Act, often known as “Obamacare.” Critics have pointed to the company’s contract as a potential conflict of interest, citing Tipirneni’s steadfast support for President Obama’s controversial health care law.
Groups tied to the Democratic Party have largely abandoned Tipirneni’s congressional bid, and the Democrat recently has tried to separate herself from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, refusing to commit to supporting the party’s embattled leader despite supporting her congressional agenda.
Tipirneni will face Republican former state senator Debbie Lesko on April 24.