Lauren Underwood

U.S. House, Illinois 14

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Who am I?

Lauren Underwood is running for office because we need strong, courageous people of all backgrounds to step up and serve our communities.

Neighbors across the 14th are asking for a fierce advocate for affordable, quality healthcare As a federal employee, Lauren worked to implement the Affordable Care Act, and is proud of the work expanding access to care. Rep. Hultgren betrayed his constituents by voting for the American Health Care Act which didn’t preserve access for folks with pre-existing conditions. As a nurse and a woman of childbearing age, Lauren is deeply committed to protecting the freedom of women to autonomously decide what is best for their bodies and families. She believes healthcare is a human right. She also recognizes that the ACA has flaws, and she is committed to working on both sides of the aisle to implement changes that will strengthen the law.

The community needs strong, high paying jobs to build economic resilience 50% of the IL-14 is rural and farmers rely on consistent weather patterns. 100-year weather events are a threat to the community prosperity and denying these realities, as Rep. Hultgren is doing, prevents us from protecting our current livelihoods, sustaining environmental resources, and from capitalizing on future alternative energy opportunities. Public education must be strengthened so that young people can compete in a global marketplace. Lauren is a product of public school in this district. The regressive policies of the Trump administration have endangered our children’s access to world class education.

What am I fighting for?

Lauren Underwood grew up in Naperville, Illinois where she earned her first Girl Scout badge and attended Neuqua Valley High School. On her first day in Girl Scouts, Lauren made the pledge “to help people at all times.” Those early lessons in leadership formed a foundation of service that continues to guide her now as she looks to serve in a different way, representing Illinois’ 14th District in Congress.

Today, Lauren Underwood is a registered nurse, with hands-on experience in America’s healthcare industry. Lauren was appointed by President Obama to serve as a Senior Advisor at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). During her time in the administration, Lauren helped communities across the country prevent, prepare for, and respond to disasters, bioterror threats and public health emergencies. As a career public servant at HHS, Lauren helped implement the Affordable Care Act – broadening access for those on Medicare, improving healthcare quality, and reforming private insurance.

As an American with a pre-existing condition, Lauren also understands the real-life importance of quality, affordable health care for working families and their children. Lauren will bring her firsthand knowledge to Washington and work to propose measures that will preserve and expand access to healthcare for Illinois families. Lauren currently works with a Medicaid plan in Chicago to ensure the plan provides high-quality, cost-efficient care. Lauren also teaches future nurse practitioners through Georgetown University’s online master’s program.

Lauren is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Johns Hopkins University.

My DFA Values

Lauren’s first introduction to public service came through an appointment by the mayor to the Naperville fair housing commission - at age 16. She served two terms on that board, at a time when landlords in the community blocked section 8 voucher holders from renting units in apartment complexes. She quickly learned about civil rights protections against discrimination based on race and sexual identity, and worked with fellow commissioners to understand our ability to review complaints of discrimination based on legal source of income. This early introduction to public service inspired Lauren’s decision to blend her clinical nursing expertise and public service passion into a career in health policy. She served in the Obama Administration, helping communities build resilience and better respond to public health emergencies and disasters. This work took her to Flint Michigan where she worked with governmental and community leaders to help direct and execute the federal response to the Water Crisis. Prior to her appointment, she managed a policy portfolio at HHS working on the Affordable Care Act implementation for Medicare, private insurance reform and health care quality. We’ve seen the recent attacks on this legacy of reducing barriers to care, and this direct threat to health care access for folks with pre-existing conditions served as a major motivation for her decision to run for Congress. Lauren dedicated her career to improving public health and fighting for underserved populations. She will bring this unyielding commitment to racial and social justice to the U.S. House of Representatives.

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