This op-ed originally appeared in the State-Journal Register.

Ten years ago this summer, my husband Tom and I were sitting vigil at our 12-year-old’s bedside while he lay in a coma fighting for his life. We weren’t thinking about insurance and the bills to come. We were praying for him to just live. Thank God he did, he does, and our family remains intact.

When we got home, a mountain of bills had piled up in our mailbox, and it was only our access to good insurance that saved our family from becoming buried by them and ruined financially.

I’m running for Congress because I want to make sure other families have access to quality care and affordable insurance. Our health care system isn’t working when people who work hard and play by the rules are forced into debt or bankruptcy for the care they need. It’s not working when people are rationing pills to make them last longer or can’t afford all the prescriptions their baby needs just to survive.

Why do politicians like Congressman Rodney Davis vote against lowering the cost of prescription drugs? Why does he vote to raise health care prices? Why does he vote against protecting people with pre-existing conditions? Why does he vote — time after time — against ensuring that people in the 13th district can get affordable access to quality health care?

I think the question should be: If he isn’t voting for us, who is he voting for?

Follow the money. During his time in Washington, Congressman Davis has taken more than $600,000 from pharmaceutical and insurance companies. Even worse, over 75% of the money in Congressman Davis’ campaign coffers comes from special interest donors and PACs, instead of the people he has pledged to serve.

That’s who he’s voting for — not us. It’s exactly what’s wrong with Washington and unfortunately, Congressman Davis has fallen in their trap. He’s become part of a corrupt, broken system that puts corporate campaign donations ahead of the interests of working and middle-class families in central Illinois — and around the country.

That’s why I’m running a different kind of campaign — fueled by regular people, not the special interests who run Washington. Last year, my campaign was powered by 43,000 people who gave what they could, $10, $20, or $40 at a time. That’s exactly the way it should be: People supporting people.

I refuse to be beholden to Big Pharma, insurance, or any corporation for that matter. That’s why I am proud to announce that I won’t be taking corporate PAC money in this campaign or in Congress. Refusing corporate PAC money is an important step toward fighting the corruption in Washington so we can tackle real issues facing middle-class families — from lowering the cost of health care and prescription drugs to protecting Illinoisans with pre-existing conditions — with only your best interest in mind.

I won’t take a dime of corporate PAC money. I don’t want it. I want to lead by example. I want to leave no question as to who I’m going to work for in Washington — you. Not the special interests. You.

Betsy Dirksen Londrigan, a Democrat from Springfield, is seeking the Democratic nomination for the 13th Congressional District in the 2020 election. She was the nominee in the 2018 election.