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U.S. Congressional Candidates Sean Casten and Lauren Underwood Need Your Help/ Vote in November

August 20, 2018

Commentary by Tom Nash (views are his own)

There’s something happening in the country right now – it is my belief we can all feel it – which demands that we take action together. We do not have the luxury of sitting by.

Today, Medicare and Medicaid are under siege by Republican politicians who want to drastically cut the two programs, even as they just enacted the recent GOP tax scam bill tilted toward the top 1%. This comes at a time when many Americans are already struggling financially due to healthcare costs, particularly seniors. In too many cases, illnesses or injuries are forcing families into bankruptcy. Which brings us to the upcoming mid-term November elections and why—if you believe as I do that we must save Medicare and Medicaid and make the Affordable Care Act (ACA) work —Sean Casten in the 6th Congressional District deserves your help. As does Lauren Underwood in the 14th Congressional District.

The Republican incumbents Peter Roskam, Randy Hultgren, and Donald Trump are complicit in a concerted effort to roll back health coverage for millions of Americans, while sabotaging and undermining the ACA – and have contributed to the ever-increasing income inequities in this country.

Congressman Roskam has consistently voted to scrap the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), and recently stated that he is still in favor of “repeal and replace” of this federal health insurance program. Reminder: per the Kaiser Family Foundation, an estimated 52 million adults have pre-existing conditions that would likely have made them uninsurable prior to the ACA. Under a plan pushed by the Trump administration and supported by Roskam and Hultgren, insurance companies are now allowed to sell junk health insurance policies which exclude people with pre-existing conditions. Restricting access to Medicare and GOP votes against allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices (which benefits big pharmaceutical companies) all makes medicine and care more expensive for seniors and individuals on disability.

We are never going to understand the insurance company fine print better than those companies.
Moreover, the Better Government Association, Illinois’ Non-Partisan Watchdog, has been severely critical of the misrepresentations by Roskam about Sean Casten’s healthcare position.

Roskam and Hultgren both championed the GOP tax law passed last year, which has resulted in an exploding federal deficit. The latest report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found that the Republican tax plan resulted in a 20 percent jump in the federal deficit in the first ten months of the 2018 fiscal year. Spending outpaced revenue between the beginning of the fiscal year on October 1 and July by $682 billion—$116 billion more than over the same period in the last fiscal year. Tax revenues from individuals rose, even as revenues from corporate taxes went down. Despite a strong economy, our nation’s fiscal health is declining and American families have to pick up a larger share of the burden while corporations and the very rich are getting tax breaks.

It is bad enough that we are now saddling our children, grandchildren, and even more future generations with crushing debt, but the tax cuts are only helping those millionaires and billionaires at the very top of the economic ladder. Republican leaders claim that six million Americans have gotten pay raises because of the Trump/Roskam/Hultgren tax law. This is false. This month, the respected nonpartisan Payscale survey reported that “So far, there hasn’t been any bolstering of paychecks for the typical worker.” Furthermore, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics pegged consumer inflation this past year at a six-year high, while MarketWatch reported that this inflation wiped out any small wage gains that workers may have seen over the past year. It is an old, sad refrain: “The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.” But you can add to that: “And the middle class is being decimated.”

Finally, I would add that if Peter Roskam and Randy Hultgren remain in office, we will not see any sensible, reasonable gun control legislation. They each get A and A+ ratings from the National Rifle Association. The problem is not the position of ordinary members of the NRA – it is the money from the NRA gun lobby putting a toxic grip on American politicians such as Roskam and Hultgren.

Vote for Casten and Underwood depending upon your district. Sean Casten is an accomplished clean energy businessman who has created jobs in our region and is passionate about healthcare solutions. Lauren Underwood chose to become a nurse based upon her experiences as a child being treated for a pre-existing heart condition. She chose to run for Congress because, as a HEALTH professional, she is committed to improving and protecting our care – not voting to take it away.

Because the positions of incumbents Peter Roskam and Randy Hultgren are harming our clients, I have personally walked door-to-door in support of better leaders, who will be champions for all of us. I encourage you to join me in volunteering to help these campaigns (mail postcards, phone bank, canvass), but especially to vote in November. Check out Iwillvote.com, as well as ilvoteathome.org/ to learn how you can vote from home, vote early, or where to vote in person

The 6th Congressional District of Illinois covers parts of Cook, DuPage, Lake, Kane and McHenry counties. All or parts of the cities and towns of Algonquin, Barrington, Barrington Hills, Bartlett, Burr Ridge, Carol Stream, Carpentersville, Cary, Clarendon Hills, Crystal Lake, Darien, Deer Park, Downers Grove, Elgin, East Dundee, Forest Lake, Fox River Grove, Gilberts, Glen Ellyn, Hawthorn Woods, Hinsdale, Hoffman Estates, Inverness, Kildeer, Lake Barrington, Lake in the Hills, Lake Zurich, Lakewood, Lisle, Lombard, Long Grove, Naperville, North Barrington, Oak Brook, Oakbrook Terrace, Oakwood Hills, Palatine, Port Barrington, Rolling Meadows, Sleepy Hollow, South Barrington, South Elgin, St. Charles, Tower Lakes, Trout Valley, Warrenville, Wayne, West Chicago, West Dundee, Westmont, Wheaton, and Willowbrook are included.

The 14th Congressional District of Illinois covers parts of DeKalb, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will Counties. All or parts of Batavia, Campton Hills, Crystal Lake, Geneva, Huntley, McHenry, Naperville, North Aurora, Oswego, Plainfield, Plano, Sycamore, Warrenville, Wauconda, Woodstock, and Yorkville are included.

Let’s get this done together.