State Congress members weigh ACA repeal, feedback

U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, who like his Democratic colleagues is dead-set against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, says he has been bombarded with constituent calls and emails in recent days.

The overwhelming majority of messages — 1,098 as of Wednesday — oppose the health care overhaul proposed by House Republicans, while just 11 support it, according to the first-term lawmaker from Schaumburg.

“To say there is concern bordering on fear is not an overstatement,” Krishnamoorthi said.

As Illinois Democrats sound alarms, Republicans insist reform is needed because the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, isn’t working. The Republican measure that advances Thursday to the House Budget Committee has come under fire from the political left and right.

Republicans are under pressure to advance the bill to get it to the House floor. But Rep. Peter Roskam of Wheaton, a six-term lawmaker and vocal critic of the ACA, said the proposal up for a vote on Thursday is “not a final product.”

Republican U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren of west suburban Plano has not made a decision on the bill as he reviews the legislation and its impact on Illinois, according to spokesman Jameson Cunningham. Hultgren’s office declined to give a breakdown of contacts from constituents for or against the measure.

“My constituents continue to provide good input from all sides … communicating many reasons why the current system of health insurance isn’t working,” Hultgren said in a statement. He also said that some people in the exchanges under Obamacare have said reforms are necessary because they can’t see their doctor, are cut off from specialists or aren’t covered at their nearest hospital.

House Democrat Robin Kelly of Matteson made note of the discord among Republicans. If the measure passes the House but sinks in the Senate, the GOP “will have to go back to the drawing board, and hopefully Democrats will be at table,” she said.

Twitter @KatherineSkiba

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