Is there a doctor in the house?

Reps. Hauter and Jacobs bring invaluable expertise to legislature

The only two physicians currently serving in the Illinois House are both Republicans, and they bring forth different areas of expertise along with vast knowledge of important issues that affect all Illinois residents due to their medical backgrounds.

Rep. Paul Jacobs (R-Pomona) was first elected to the House in 2020 to represent the 115th District. After redistricting, he now serves the 118th District in the far southwestern portion of the state. Jacobs is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and for the last 43 years has practiced optometry in several communities throughout southern Illinois. He and his wife, Rhoda, operated a successful winery in rural Jackson County for 27 years.

Representative Jacobs is a well-respected member of the House and has served on a number of committees. He is well regarded for his quick thinking and potential life-saving interaction with Rep. Barbara Hernandez (D-Aurora) on March 1, 2022, at the Capitol. Democratic State Rep. Hernandez was not feeling well and Dr. Jacobs was called upon to check on her as the only doctor in the Chamber at the time. Jacobs recommended that his Democratic colleague seek immediate medical attention, and later that day, at a nearby hospital, she was told she had suffered a stroke at age 29. Hernandez ended up having brain surgery and went through a lengthy recovery process that included learning how to walk again. Hernandez was able to participate remotely on the final day of the legislative session, 36 days after her stroke, and she was introduced to a standing ovation on the House floor by Representative “Doc” Jacobs.

Rep. Bill Hauter (R-Morton) is in his first year in the House representing the 87th District. Born and raised in Morton, Dr. Hauter completed medical residencies in both Emergency Medicine and Anesthesiology at Indiana University, and he actively practices both specialties at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria. Dr. Hauter specializes in pediatric and adult cardiac anesthesia.

Hauter has lent his medical expertise to Illinois’ ongoing debate about abortion rights. While a pro-life physician, he recognizes the need to find common ground on this hot button issue. There is the pro-choice “safe, legal and rare” camp, but also the radical pro-abortion minority who are unrelentingly expanding abortion while disregarding medical safeguards, Hauter says. In a recent op-ed piece published in the Chicago Sun-Times, Representative Hauter noted his objection to the continued expansion of abortion procedures to unaccountable non-physician technicians, who are often unable or unqualified to handle serious medical complications. Representative Hauter has lent a strong, conservative voice with outstanding medical knowledge to this important policy debate.

“The House Republican Caucus benefits from citizen legislators from diverse backgrounds. I cannot stress enough how much we gain from having, not just one, but both of the doctors serving in the Illinois House, lending their knowledge and expertise to our caucus positions and deliberations. Dr. Jacobs and Dr. Hauter are invaluable members of our team and their public service adds so much to our ability to understand and debate the critical issues affecting medical care which come before the Illinois House,” said House Minority Leader Tony McCombie.