6th Congressional District candidates disagree on Obamacare
Both candidates in the 6th Congressional District say there are problems with the Affordable Care Act.
But while U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam wants to repeal and replace President Barack Obama's signature health care law, Amanda Howland -- Roskam's Democratic opponent in the Nov. 8 election -- wants Congress to fix it.
"I think the Affordable Care Act has done some very good things," said Howland, a 63-year-old attorney from Lake Zurich. "I think there are parts of it that need to be changed. I don't think we need to throw the baby out with the bathwater and try to start all over again."
Roskam, 55, who has represented the 6th District since 2007, said that before the Affordable Care Act, Americans wanted something done to address the "irrationally expensive" cost of health care. They also didn't want someone to be denied health insurance because of a pre-existing condition.
The Wheaton Republican says there was an opportunity for federal lawmakers to have a "transformational moment" and focus on those issues.
Instead, the Affordable Care Act has been a failure, Roskam said.
He said Americans have seen their health care plans canceled, and options for doctors and services have become limited.
"Obamacare was designed so that most Americans pay more for less, and that's just what we've seen so far," Roskam wrote in a candidate questionnaire. "We must repeal and replace this misguided and harmful law."
He said House Republicans have drafted a health care proposal that could replace the Affordable Care Act.
Howland says the Affordable Care Act has resulted in "high costs, rising premiums and high deductibles" for those who don't qualify for subsidies.
But she insists that repealing the law isn't the answer. She said she's concerned about eliminating a vital safety net.
"Too many families will suffer," Howland wrote in a candidate questionnaire.
She said there are steps that can be taken to fix the legislation.
For example, Howland said, customers should have the ability to tailor coverage for their needs. They shouldn't be required to pay for an expensive plan that covers everything.
She said federal lawmakers need to find ways to get prescription drug costs under control. In addition, more insurance companies must participate in the health insurance exchanges.
"I think that competition among the insurance carriers is something that needs to be encouraged," Howland said.
The 6th Congressional District stretches from Naperville to Tower Lakes and includes parts of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties.