6th Congressional GOP candidates want Obamacare repealed
U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam says Republicans are "only one office" away from scrapping the Affordable Care Act.
But even if a Democrat wins the presidency in November, Roskam and his opponent in the March 15 GOP primary for the 6th Congressional District seat -- Gordon "Jay" Kinzler -- both agree that efforts should continue to try to repeal and replace President Barack Obama's signature health care law.
"Obamacare has been a huge myth," said Kinzler, a 57-year-old physician and surgeon. "I know the reality. I know that it doesn't work. It's a system that is destined for failure, and it's already heading that way."
Kinzler, who is a Glen Ellyn Park District commissioner, has accused Roskam of not being conservative enough for the 6th Congressional District, which stretches from Naperville to Tower Lakes and includes parts of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties.
Still, Kinzler makes similar points to Roskam's when explaining why he believes the Affordable Care Act should be repealed.
"Deductibles have gotten really high," Kinzler said. "And the co-payments have gotten real high. There's a huge number of people that are choosing not to go to the doctor because they can't afford the deductibles or the copays. So they're actually getting less care."
Roskam, 54, who has represented the district since 2007, says Americans have seen their health care plans canceled and their options limited as a result of Obamacare. "We pay more for less," he said.
Those and other consequences aren't what people wanted, Roskam said.
Before the Affordable Care Act became law, Roskam said, Americans wanted something done to address the high cost of health care. They also were troubled by the idea that someone could be denied health insurance because of a pre-existing condition.
"The mistake of the route that the Obamacare debate went was -- rather than focusing in on those two things -- it really moved much broader," Roskam said.
So the Wheaton Republican is proposing that federal lawmakers focus on trying to lower the cost of health care.
Roskam said that could be done by allowing customers to buy health insurance across state lines.
There also should be more transparency so patients know the price of the care they receive.
Kinzler agrees there's a need for more insurance companies, and those companies must compete with each other. In addition, customers should have the ability to tailor their coverage to their needs.
"There are ways to go back to the system where there was more competition," Kinzler said.
While he supports scrapping the Affordable Care Act, Kinzler said there still should be "a safety net" for people who need it.
Whoever wins the GOP primary will face the Democratic nominee for the 6th Congressional District seat in the November general election. The Democrats competing in their primary are Amanda Howland of Lake Zurich and Robert Marshall of Burr Ridge.