After the House passed the GOP health care bill, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said Republicans will now have health care tattooed on their foreheads and that the American people will hold them accountable. Democrats are already looking ahead to 2018. And they are already going after two Chicago area Republicans who voted in favor of the bill.
High school social studies teacher Victor Swanson is the first Democrat to launch a campaign against Republican incumbent Randy Hultgreen.
“People are upset and they're wanting a change in government and I hope to bring that,” he says.
Swanson says debate in Washington over health care has activated the Democratic grassroots. And he’s hammering Hultgren for supporting the GOP overhaul plan.
“I think he did that because his money comes from financial institutions and insurance companies and I think people are tired of that.
WGN News reached out to Congressman Holtgren's office for an interview and the released a statement on his behalf saying:
I have had great concerns about this bill… But doing nothing isn't an option, which I why I supported this amended bill as an important next step in the longer process of broader health reform that will benefit Illinois.
Democrat Kelly Mazeski declared her candidacy for Illinois’s 6th District on Thursday. The seat is held by Republican Peter Roskam
A breast cancer survivor, Mazeski says Roskam is out of touch with his constituents.
“ I think it’s insane that he would vote for something that’s taking away coverage from the people who put him in office,” Mazeski says. “People are very energized because of this bill. Because of so many things that the Republican Party taken away that people value.”
Other announced Democrats or possible contenders include Suzyn Price, Carole Cheney, Amanda Howland and Maura Sullivan.
Congressman Roskam acknowledges feeling the heat, but he’s defending his vote.
“The two things I think people in the 6th District care about which is making sure that the price of health care goes down and number two making sure that people with pre-existing conditions are protected so those two things are cooked into this bill,” Congress Roskam says.
Websites supporting Democratic candidates are boasting about the big money they’ve already raised. Republicans have their cash, too. The Cook Political
Report lists Roskam and Hultgreen’s seats as “likely Republican.” These contests in Illinois matter because Democrats need to pick up just 24 seats to retake the House.