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Thomas Clatterbuck

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Coverage for preexisting conditions was one of the key elements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Under the ACA, people could not be denied coverage due to a preexisting condition like diabetes or asthma. Previously, it was often very difficult for individuals with these conditions to get new health insurance coverage. Insurance companies tended to avoid these individuals because it costs more to provide coverage for someone who is already sick.

Republicans have been trying to repeal the ACA since it was passed. Their efforts have not always included provisions for preserving coverage for preexisting conditions. Today, Democratic congressional candidate Betsy Dirksen Londrigan attacked her Republican opponent Rodney Davis for his votes to repeal the ACA. The Republican replacement to the ACA, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), has weaker protections for preexisting conditions. Although individuals who have these conditions can still get coverage, it will likely be more expensive than it was under the ACA.

Londrigan went on to say that Davis’ recent resolution affirming his support for covering preexisting conditions was meaningless. Resolutions, unlike bills, do not become law if passed. She highlighted the eleven times he voted on bills that would weaken or remove coverage for preexisting conditions. Londrigan was joined by three people who shared stories of how they would be negatively impacted without coverage for their conditions.

You can watch their full remarks and the follow-up Q&A in the player. To learn more about Betsy Dirksen Londrigan, and the other candidates in the 13th, check out our Campaign Headquarters page.

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Senior strategist, statehouse reporter and political correspondent for Springfield Daily. Graduate of District 117 and UIS. Thomas covers stories in both Morgan and Sangamon Counties, as well as statewide politics.

2018 Election

Republicans Davis and LaHood hold onto congressional seats

Thomas Clatterbuck

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Both Congressmen who serve the Springfield area retained their seats last night. Darin LaHood (R-18) and Rodney Davis (R-13) will be going back to Washington DC. LaHood had a decisive victory with 67.5 percent of the vote against Democrat Junius Rodriguez who took 32.5 percent. Davis had a much closer race. He won out over Democrat Betsy Dirksen Londrigan by a margin of just 3,700 votes.

But Illinois Congressional races generally went towards the Democrats. The 6th District went to Sean Casten over Republican incumbent Peter Roskam. Lauren Underwood came out over Republican incumbent Randy Hultgren in the 14th. These races were part of the Democrats retaking of the US House of Representatives. Illinois now has 13 Democratic and 5 Republican Congressional Representatives.

Even in the races they won, Republicans have reasons to be concerned. LaHood received 57,000 fewer votes in his rematch against Rodriguez than he did in 2016. Rodriguez’s total dropped just 3,000 votes. Davis faced a similar situation. Where the Democrats actually gained 5,000 votes in the 13th, Davis’ total declined by 52,000.

While a win is a win, even these high points of last night’s election should be worrying to the Illinois Republican Party.

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2018 Election

Duckworth visits Springfield to support Londrigan

Thomas Clatterbuck

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With the November 6th election less than a week away, candidates are making their final appearances before the votes are cast. In that spirit, Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), came out to show her support for Betsy Dirksen Londrigan in her race against Rodney Davis (R-13). Duckworth echoed Londrigan’s concern over support for preexisting conditions. Londrigan’s primary campaign issue has been ensuring continuing coverage for preexisting conditions.

The senator expanded on this point to highlight the issues that veterans face. A veteran herself, Duckworth explained that not every service member receives coverage at the VA. Many veterans choose or are forced to seek insurance coverage elsewhere.

Jim Dixon, president of the Illinois & Central Illinois Trades & Labor Council, also pointed out that not all injuries veterans receive in the line of duty are covered at the VA. Agent Orange, a defoliant used during the Vietnam War, has led to huge numbers of cancers and deaths among those who were exposed to it. However, it took many years for the government to acknowledged Agent Orange was harmful to people. Duckworth suggested that there may be other unrecognized issues from service in more recent wars that require veterans to seek healthcare outside of the VA.

You can watch Duckworth’s and Londrigan’s full remarks in the player.

To learn more about Londrigan and the other candidates in the 13th, check out our Campaign Headquarters page, or compare their interviews.

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2018 Election

Bustos and Londrigan respond to Davis statements on healthcare

Thomas Clatterbuck

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Healthcare, especially coverage for preexisting conditions, has been a major focus of the race in the 13th. Betsy Dirksen Londrigan (D) was motivated to enter the race specifically due to her son’s near-fatal illness. Both she and her Republican opponent Rodney Davis have been working to portray themselves as champions of those with preexisting conditions. At the same time, they have been attacking the proposals put forward by the other side.

Today, Londrigan was joined by fellow Democrat Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-17) to rebut several recent claims from the Davis camp. One claim in particular, that the Washington Post gave “four pinocchios” to the Democrats for claims about how the AHCA protects preexisting conditions, was highlighted. The Post published an article this morning refuting this claim, and objecting to the Republicans’ refusal to correct their misstatements. Londrigan pointed to this article as proof of Davis hiding from his record on healthcare.

Bustos also spoke about the recent tax reform bill. She celebrated the fact that no Democrats voted for the bill, which she said greatly expanded federal deficits. Bustos went on to warn that Republicans may use the growing deficit as justification to cut entitlement programs like Medicare or Social Security.

Londrigan and Davis will have their final debate tonight in Normal, IL. You can watch Bustos’ and Londrigan’s full remarks in the player.

To learn more about Londrigan and the other candidates in the 13th, check out our Campaign Headquarters page, or compare their interviews.

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