This week, as Congress tries again to “repeal and replace” Obamacare, Congressman Adam Kinzinger will have the opportunity to show his true colors: Will he support his constituents, or will he support the Republican party line no matter what happens to the people of the 16th Congressional District?
On April 19 Representative Kinzinger attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Mendota Wellness Clinic. He expressed his admiration for the great work this remarkable clinic does, and said, “You know you have a partner on the federal level. I just want to say thank you for being here and I wish you a lot of luck in the future.”
Unfortunately, the Mendota Wellness Clinic will need more than luck. According to Susan Bauer, Executive Director of the Community Health Partnership, about 70% of the Mendota clinic’s funding comes directly via Obamacare. Does the clinic really have a partner at the federal level? Representative Kinzinger’s vote this week will tell us.
The newest version of the Republican AHCA, which has been made even more draconian than the original, has been panned by organizations across the country, including AARP, the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, the American Cancer Society and March of Dimes. These organizations are unanimous in their opposition to the proposed bill, which will (among many thorny problems) allow individual states to waive protections for people with pre-existing conditions, once again making their health care nearly impossible to afford.
Although this isn’t the only objection to the Republican AHCA, it certainly is a crucial for one for Representative Kinzinger’s constituents: According to the Center for American Progress, there are 293,300 people in the Illinois 16th under the age of 65 living with pre-existing conditions. That’s 52% percent of his constituents under the age of 65, and 40% of the total population of his district. Is Representative Kinzinger really interested in protecting the lives of almost half his constituents? We’ll see.
Activists on both sides of the aisle have long criticized Congressman Kinzinger for saying one thing and doing another. We agree that his words carry little weight, and that only his actions matter. So let’s watch closely this week, as the Republican party calls the AHCA to a vote. Because without a doubt, Adam Kinzinger will be showing his true colors. And our lives may be on the line.