Families across the IL-14 deserve good, high-paying jobs and a strong local economy. In order for the economy to work for all of our families, we need a broad approach to job creation. We need to invest in small businesses; we need to stop the layoffs; we need to embrace the freelance and gig economy; we need to incentivize employers to hire out-of-work or underemployed individuals; and we need to invest in new and emerging sectors that can generate jobs for the 21st century.
Additionally, our community needs significant investment in modernizing our local infrastructure. From rehabbing highways and bridges, to supporting Metra commuter rail stops for DeKalb and Kendall counties, infrastructure investment can improve our communities and stimulate significant job growth. America has never succeeded by looking backwards; we succeed when we look forward, when we innovate, when we lead, and when we build.
Every American has the right to high quality, affordable health care. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, we saw a historic drop in the uninsured rate, which means millions of families no longer have to worry about being one bad diagnosis away from bankruptcy. In the 14th district, 37,000 hard working folks have coverage through Obamacare. Lauren is committed to ensuring that these Illinoisans maintain the coverage they need. She knows that the Affordable Care Act is not perfect and supports policies that will improve the law, including:
Stabilizing premiums by properly funding and implementing the ACA's risk adjustment provisions which will bring affordable coverage and greater options to more middle class families
Lowering out-of-pocket costs by adjusting eligibility for tax credits and other cost sharing programs, in order to include more middle class families in assistance programs
Lowering drug prices -- the U.S. government is the nation's single largest payer for health care, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). We must leverage that strength to negotiate fair prices for the middle class.
Investing in comprehensive mental health care
Like many communities across the country, the 14th has been impacted by the opioid epidemic. This problem will not be solved by law enforcement solutions alone - addressing the underlying behavioral health components of addiction is critical.
To tackle this crisis, we need everyone to come to the table to implement a fully funded, comprehensive solution that will address prevention, treatment, and recovery. We must curb future addictions, but we also cannot forget those who are currently struggling without access to much needed treatment. We need to pass legislation that will reduce cost barriers to treatment, and that will ensure Medicaid and health insurance cover both detox and rehab. Inaction on this issue is not an option.
Maintaining the safety and security of our families is Lauren's number one priority. She is ready to fight to maintain the stability and safe spaces throughout our communities that allow children to grow and thrive.
Lauren firmly believes that every child in the 14th district should have the access to an excellent public education. She is unwavering in her support for continued investment in our local schools, and recognizes the need for continued attention in support of affordable higher education.
Families are the backbone of our society; therefore, it is essential that women and men have the freedom to plan the family they want. In order to do so, families need access to affordable child care, paid family leave, and the full range of reproductive health services.