The two candidates for the 13th Congressional District say they want to improve healthcare and lower costs, but their preferred methods are very different.
Republican U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis of Taylorville has pointed to legislation he supports that provides incentives for drug companies to develop new medicines.
In an online news conference Wednesday, Democratic challenger Betsy Dirksen Londrigan said the history of drugs such as remdesavir shows society should not leave things to the private sector.
"We can't count on these pharmaceutical companies to do the right thing. Taxpayers helped fund this research as we do with the National Institutes of Health all the time, and they turn around and want to charge exorbitant prices to people for a drug that we helped fund," said Londrigan.
Davis has said the Affordable Care Act is not affordable because premiums are too high.
"If he was concerned about lowering the costs for people in addition to prescription drug costs, then he should have voted yes on Monday, for the 'Enhancement Act,' which specifically lowered the cost of Americans' healthcare coverage," said Londrigan.
The U.S. House voted to expand the Affordable Care Act, in a largely party-line vote. Davis voted against the bill that is not expected to come up for a Senate vote.
Londrigan said the Senate not taking action shouldn’t keep the House from passing what she called “a good bill.”
“I mean, this is gonna help people.” And if they refuse to call it because they don’t want to help people by strengthening the Affordable Care Act and lowering out-of-pocket costs, that’s on them," said Londrigan.
In a statement after the vote, Davis said a provision requiring the government to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies on prescription drug prices would prevent the companies from being able to “innovate and make new prescription drugs.”
The bill also would increase subsidies for private health insurance and encourage Medicaid expansion in states that have yet to do so.
We’re living in unprecedented times when information changes by the minute. WGLT will continue to be here for you, keeping you up-to-date with the live, local and trusted news you need. Help ensure WGLT can continue with its in-depth and comprehensive COVID-19 coverage as the situation evolves by making a contribution.