Health Care Consumers issue voter guides

CHAMPAIGN — It's less than a week before the election, and your future health care could be at stake: Do you know where your candidates stand on the issues that matter?

Champaign County Health Care Consumers asked area U.S. congressional candidates and state legislative candidates what they think about some key health care issues.

The organization has made the candidates' answers available in a short survey form and a longer form with candidates' opinions. They'll be available for public viewing online and in paper copies.

Health Care Consumers Executive Director Claudia Lennhoff contends health care is a major political issue for the first time in many elections, and there is much misinformation circulating.

"The campaign ads just don't present factual information," she said. "People need to know where the candidates stand on the Affordable Care Act, Medicare and Medicaid."

Among the questions for congressional candidates are whether they would work to maintain, weaken or repeal the Affordable Care Act that is overhauling the nation's health care system; if they support or oppose allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices; and whether they support or oppose the Comprehensive Dental Reform Act of 2012 to expand dental coverage through Medicare, Medicaid and the Veterans Administration.

Among the questions for state candidates are whether they would support or oppose the implementation of the Affordable Care Act at the state level; where they stand on state laws to regulate health insurance increases in Illinois; and if they'd support or oppose bringing back drug assistance for needy seniors that was eliminated in state budget cuts.

Lennhoff said paper copies of the shorter surveys will be available through health care consumers and at public libraries in Champaign and Urbana.

The group's survey for Champaign-Urbana is available as a pdf file here; a separate one for Rantoul and Danville is here.

Lennhoff said her organization plans to post the surveys today on its website at http://www.healthcareconsumers.org.

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