For Betsy Dirksen Londrigan, the decision to run for Congress is very personal. In 2009, her 12-year-old son, Jack, lay in the pediatric intensive care unit in critical condition. A rare, life-threatening illness that resulted from a tick bite left Jack in a medically-induced coma fighting for his life. After 24 days in the hospital, and receiving his last rites twice, Jack slowly started on the long road to recovery.
Betsy is grateful for many things — the medical team that saved her son, the community that rallied behind their family — and the insurance that helped with the mountain of medical bills. That’s why she will fight to keep the healthcare protections we have in place. She firmly believes that no family should be put in danger of bankruptcy because of an unexpected medical emergency and that people with pre-existing conditions need confidence they will be able to afford their care.
When Rodney Davis celebrated the passage of a healthcare bill that would gut coverage for people with pre-existing conditions and charge older Americans five times more for coverage than younger people, Betsy knew she had to run for office. Rodney Davis’ votes for the Republican healthcare bill and their massive tax cut for the wealthiest Americans have real consequences for our area – threatening coverage that families depend on, our rural healthcare providers and even endangering Social Security and Medicare funding. In Congress, Betsy will always put central Illinois first, standing up for access to quality, affordable healthcare, defending Medicare and Social Security and ensuring hardworking Illinoisans have good-paying jobs and higher or continuing education opportunities that won’t bog them down in debt.
Betsy was born and raised in Springfield where she lives with her husband Tom and their three kids, Jack, William, and Kathryn. She attended Springfield High School and graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She has worked as a Corps Member with Teach For America and as a self-employed entrepreneur. Since Jack’s illness, Betsy and her family have worked to raise awareness of the importance of children’s hospitals as well as significant funds for the Children’s Miracle Network and St. John’s Children’s Hospital to ensure that other children receive the same quality care that saved Jack.