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Are the 1st Congressional District Candidates in Favor of the Health Care Act?

Hopefuls looking to nail down the Democrat or Republican slot for the U.S. House of Representatives weigh on the polarizing Affordable Health Care Act.

Federal government’s role in health care is also among top issues that divide U.S. citizens.

Some call the Affordable Health Care Act a boon for medical access, while other paint doomsday scenarios.

We therefore asked 1st Congressional District candidates if they think some, or all, of the health care bill should be repealed? And what can the government do to provide more access and affordability to health care?

Answers are listed in the order we received them.

 (R)

Yes.

 (D)

The goal is to cut spending and promote the efficient use of medical devices, treatments, and proper diagnoses. A suitable examination can go a long way. Discretion and leeway are critical to a physician’s success because if she has the ability to treat a patient based on their needs versus the wishes of the a hospital, the system will likely benefit from a more cost effective treatment

 (R)

Unfortunately, new healthcare reforms still fail to solve the problem of increasing expenditures. If we do not reduce payments, the nation may overtax the program and burden recipients with higher premiums and even higher deductibles.

The healthcare overhaul will have a significant effect on Medicare by broadening coverage and eliminating some of the subsidies that are exhausting the program.

An increase in Medicare taxes for high-income earners designates more funding to the program, but cutting some payments to medical providers and subsidies to Medicare Advantage may mean that patients and hospitals will suffer in the long term. 

New laws encourage innovation and a better quality of care, but innovation is expensive and the impending regulations may drive some to see fewer patients or drive others to the brink of insolvency. Vouchers are not the solution. We need a Medicare program that sustains low costs for seniors. However, if doctors and hospitals are not receiving payments then there is no question that healthcare costs will raise for everyone.

 (D)

I am in favor of comprehensive health reform, which was signed into law in 2010. Not only because it is historic. It is also necessary and helpful to all Americans. The Affordable Care Act will hold insurance companies accountable, lower health care costs, expand coverage options, and improve the quality of care for all Americans. It is the right and smart thing to do for all Americans.

 (D)

I support the Affordable Care Act and do not support its repeal in part or in whole. The ACA contains numerous experiments in cost control that will be undertaken in the next few years. Those that are most successful should be replicated and expanded. In addition, I support Medicare for All as a way to expand access to health care and to remove the 30% profit margin of for-profit coverage.

 (D)

I supported the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in votes before the Congress. While not a remedy for all the issues impacting the quality and delivery of healthcare services in this nation, under this Act, America has taken tremendous steps towards improving healthcare services, particularly for our nation’s most vulnerable populations. 2.5 million young Americans, who didn’t have health insurance before, have it now. Young adults, who are not offered insurance at work, may now stay on their parent’s plan until they become 26 years old.

Individuals with pre-existing conditions and who had been unable to find coverage for at least six months due to a pre-existing condition can now obtain the health insurance they need, from the federal Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) (even if their state does not exercise the option of running PCIP or some variation thereof, as their own state plan). Approximately 4 million seniors who reached the Medicare prescription drug gap known as the “donut hole” in 2010 received a one-time $250 dollar, tax-free rebate check. States will be able to receive federal matching funds for covering some additional low-income individuals and families under Medicaid for whom federal funds were not previously available.

It is now illegal for health insurance companies to rescind coverage. These prohibitions are intended to curb undesired insurance company practices, such as searching for errors and technical mistakes in applications as pretexts for denying and not paying for patient services. There are now ground rules for health insurance companies selling plans to individuals and small employers, requiring them to spend 80 cents of each dollar collected on health care services and health care quality improvements. The requirement is 85 cents on the dollar for large employer insurance plans. Where these floors are not met, insurance companies must provide rebates to consumers. In 2014, around 4 million small businesses will be eligible for tax credits to help them provide insurance benefits to their workers. The first phase of this provision provides a credit worth up to 35% of the employer’s contribution to the employees’ health insurance. Small non-profit organizations may also receive up to a 25% credit.

Candidates Fred Smith, Clifford R. Russell Jr. and Jimmy Lee Tillman II did not respond to Patch’s questionnaire.

JJR March 18, 2012 at 01:34 AM
There is quite a bit of TP in the new 3rd. http://precinctmaps.com/?page_id=2070
Dennis Robaugh March 18, 2012 at 04:32 AM
JRR: Tinley Park from 171st Street on the North, 183rd Street on the South, 80th Avenue on the east and LaGrange Road on the west are in the new 3rd District.
JJR March 18, 2012 at 03:45 PM
Not according to my new voter's registration card. I'm in the 3rd and on 163rd.
Carrie Frillman March 19, 2012 at 01:35 AM
Thanks for pointing this out, JJR.
Dennis Robaugh March 19, 2012 at 03:59 AM
Indeed, JJR. When you zoom in even further on this map provided by the state, you can see 163rd as the upper boundary, and Parliament, Paxton, Princeton and Parkview east of 80th are in the 3rd, too. http://gis.elections.il.gov/map_viewer/default.aspx

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