Congressional Representative Peter Roskam (IL 6th District) has been dodging constituents for weeks in an attempt to avoid conversations about the proposed ACA repeal and other measures being pushed by the Trump administration. On Saturday, February 4, a group fo over 400 voters gathered outside Congressman Roskam’s district office to voice their displeasure. Among them were members of MCP and affiliated groups McHenry Action for a Better Tomorrow, Indivisible DuPage, and the Action 6th District Illinois.
Roskam has refused to meet with constituents from the Illinois 6th Congressional district, which reaches as far
northwest as Cary and Fox River Grove. Roskam and his staff have cited various reasons for refusing to meet with concerned voters ranging from scheduling conflicts and, the latest excuse, a refusal to meet with voters while a reporter is present.
Congressman Roskam has had time to meet with donor groups and was attending the Palatine Township Republican group when protestors arrived to greet him. The meeting had been open to the public, but that was changed to bar the gathering crowd from entering.
Progressives member and former county board candidate Kathryn Potter joined hundreds outside in the cold to wait on Roskam, “Peter Roskam sneaks out the back after repeatedly refusing to speak to his constituents or attend multiple public town hall meetings. Elected officials work for all of us and we need to remind our representatives of this.”
Also at the protest was Palatine resident, Dr. Wynn Sheade, a local pediatrician who was arrested upon attempting to enter the meeting. The Daily Herald quoted Dr Sheade as saying, “…They said I wasn’t welcome to make that journey to his office.” Dr. Sheade was the only person arrested and charged with trespassing.
In response to critics, Roskam has dismissed the protestors as ‘paid agitators’ and refused to answer questions. However, Journal Online editors report that Palatine Township Republican Committeeman Aaron Del Mar, whose group hosted the planned event, was well aware of the protesters’ intent to show up on Saturday, “I’m going to put them on the parkway, they’re not coming into my meeting and we’re not going to answer their questions.”
For more than seven years, GOP representatives have pledged to replace ACA, but so far, have declined to produce details of their plan. The only details released so far were House Speaker Paul Ryan’s long criticized plan to turn Medicare into a $15,000 voucher system for seniors. Health and Human Services nominee, Tom Price has a framework of a plan that hinges on a $3,000 reimbursement to help pay for insurance plans ranging in annual premium costs of $5,000 to more than $20,000 per family, not including deductibles.
An alternative plan being proposed to Republican lawmakers may be the bailout they have been looking for. Economist and Boston University professor Larry Kotlikoff published his proposal called, The Purple Plan (http://www.thepurplehealthplan.org/), that is essentially Medicare for all using flexible vouchers to purchase basic care with options for more coverage through private purchase. It remains to be seen if GOP lawmakers, including Congressman Roskam, will embrace the plan or any other the Trump administration may propose if only to find some cover from constituents’ concerns.