An Illinois congressman who used to serve in the General Assembly sees similarities between Washington and Springfield.U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Wheaton, pictured) says in both places, there’s a desire to avoid making hard decisions – in Springfield on pensions, and in Washington, on Medicare, which faces a growing elderly population and rising health care costs that make its position precarious in a decade or so.
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“If we don’t follow through and try and figure that out, then ultimately, you get on the wrong side of these curves, and the debt situation that the United States (is) in is about six times as great per person as the debt situation that the state of Illinois is in,” he said. Recent House Republican budgets, which Roskam supported as chief deputy majority whip, have called for abolishing traditional Medicare, and instead subsidizing premiums for private insurance.
Roskam served in the Illinois House of Representatives from 1993-98, and in the Senate from 2000 until he was elected to Congress in 2006.