Underwood talks health care, Congressional gridlock at town hall in Shorewood

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U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood hosted a few of her constituents at a town hall meeting in Shorewood on Tuesday.

Underwood, D-Naperville, has been crisscrossing the 14th district for a series of meetings with constituents throughout the month. Tuesday's meeting focused on issues related to health care, immigration and partisan gridlock in Congress.

The representative first summarized the series of bills she'd worked on during the first few months of the year, including measures to improve retirement savings, increase Social Security benefits and stop unwanted robocalls.

Among the fewer than 10 constituents who attended, many expressed gratitude for Underwood's record throughout her first term in office.

"I used to go to (former Republican Rep. Randy) Hultgren's town halls because I was angry," Mary Lou O'Brien, a Shorewood resident, told Underwood. "Right now you're not seeing many Democrats here because you're doing it right."

While some asked about health care, immigration, infrastructure investment and even her opinion on impeaching President Donald Trump, many also expressed feelings of frustration that legislation wasn't passing through the Republican-controlled Senate.

Underwood also decried the inaction in the Senate and said Americans need to "reengage" with politics like they did during the 2017 debate over repealing the Affordable Care Act.

"There are things that we can do right now to help improve the lives of the American people," Underwood said. "And in the House, we're doing our job. We're doing our part."

Another constituent asked Underwood what her thoughts were on the debate about health care reform in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary. While she didn't endorse any specific plan, she said the conversations about health care were positive and touted her efforts to reduce premium costs in the ACA marketplace.

"I'm personally encouraged that health care is something that literally every American is talking about," Underwood said.

Underwood's constituents can attend mobile office hours around the district for help with Social Security, tax issues and veterans benefits.

Constituents can go to the Plainfield Public Library every first Wednesday of the month from 3 to 7 p.m., and Shorewood Village Hall every third Thursday of the month from 1 to 5 p.m.