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updated: 10/4/2012 1:23 PM

Hultgren, Anderson clash on health care reform, job creation

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  • Republican Randy Hultgren of St. Charles is running for Congress in the 14th District.

       Republican Randy Hultgren of St. Charles is running for Congress in the 14th District.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

  • Democrat Dennis Anderson of Gurnee is running for Congress in the 14th District.

       Democrat Dennis Anderson of Gurnee is running for Congress in the 14th District.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer


Candidates in the race for the 14th Congressional District have vastly different views regarding tax reform and the federal government's role in providing health care.

Randy Hultgren, the Republican from St. Charles who was first elected to Congress in 2010, faces Dennis Anderson, a Gurnee Democrat and political newcomer. The 14th Congressional District stretches from Wadsworth in the northeast to Minooka in the south, covering all or parts of Kane, DuPage, Lake, McHenry, Will, DeKalb and Kendall counties.

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Hultgren backs taxation reform and extending the tax cuts, saying the federal government does not have a revenue problem but a spending problem. He also calls for the repeal of President Obama's health care reform law, the Affordable Care Act. Meanwhile, Anderson says Bush-era tax cuts should be extended for the lower- and middle-income earners. He supports the Affordable Care Act.

"The past three years have marked the weakest economic recovery our nation has seen since the Great Depression. This is not the right time to raise taxes on anyone," Hultgren wrote in a Daily Herald candidate questionnaire. "However, this is an excellent time to reform the tax system and broaden the tax base."

In an interview with the Daily Herald, Hultgren reiterated his stance against raising taxes.

"I disagree with my opponent. He thinks increased revenue should come through increased taxes, and I think revenue ought to come from increased growth," Hultgren said.

Anderson said the tax cuts should be extended, except for those that benefit the highest income earners.

"Middle- and low-income workers have been disproportionately harmed by the recession, job losses and the collapse of the housing market, and have endured decades of stagnant earnings," Anderson wrote in his Daily Herald questionnaire. "High income earners, on the other hand, have benefitted disproportionately from those rate reductions."

As for the President's Affordable Care Act, Hultgren said the law must be repealed.

"There are a number of ways to expand health care without the president's law," Hultgren said. "Structural changes can be made to encourage preventive health care and also to separate health insurance from employment status, both of which would lower prices and will create stability for families."

But Anderson said the Affordable Care Act improves access to health care for millions of people at a lower cost.

"Repeal would not only mean that tens of millions of Americans would lose health care coverage, but would also, according to a Congressional Budget Office report to Speaker of the House John Boehner in July 2011, increase the deficit," Anderson said. "Additionally, it would not be surprising to once again see insurance premiums start rising again at double-digit rates as they were for years prior to the approval of the ACA."

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