Last week, I saw a news video of House Majority Leader Paul Ryan giving a graphic presentation explaining why he believes the present Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is a terrible idea. He pointed to a pie chart with a large part of the circle in blue, and a small slice of it in red. He said the circle represented Obamacare and derided the fact that under this system a large number of Americans, the blue segment were paying money into a fund that only a considerably smaller number of people, the red slice, would use.
Ryan's "brilliant" argument against Obamacare inspired some of his fellow representatives to proclaim their agreement with his logic. Downstate Illinois' Congressman John Shimkus wondered why should "men have to purchase pre-natal care?" And Florida Congressman Ted Yoho expressed his opposition to the government telling healthy Americans that they must purchase health insurance even if they don't want to.
Anyone spending more than a few minutes analyzing the facts would see that these are amazingly dumb things to say. So dumb, if I were a thoughtful Republican I would be quite embarrassed.
The fact is, what Paul Ryan was deriding in his pie chart is the very definition of insurance -- a bunch of people putting money into a pool that only a percentage of people ever have reason to access. I could have said "have reason to use" but that would be incorrect. Everyone in an insurance pool is "using" their insurance every day through the security and peace of mind they receive knowing it's there. That feeling of security makes a difference in the quality of your life. - And in healthcare, that's especially true.
So here we are today, watching Republicans in Congress struggling to find acceptable language to describe a health care plan that will protect at least 14 million fewer people than the plan we now have. Watching them scramble for words reminds me of an old Monty Python sketch called "Splunge" - a table full of cowardly execs trying to please their domineering boss, desperately guessing what to say next. Yes? No? Good? Bad? One terrified exec invents a word to cover himself -- "splunge!"
Ironically, a single word is one reason for the confusion about how we should deal with America's healthcare. It's the word, "insurance." It certainly is the clearest way to visualize the process behind the system. And it's not the first time federal programs have used that descriptive term. The U.S. government's official name for Social Security originally was, and still is, Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI). This too is a pool of money ultimately not used by all of its contributors.
The thing is, when people hear the word, "insurance," most think of the insurance they buy for their car or their property. (Life insurance is a whole other animal, it covers you and someone else collects.)
With car insurance for instance, you can decide how much coverage you want down to a bare minimum. Some people take a chance with the law and their luck and buy none. Home insurance is even more arbitrary. Whether you're in a mansion or a mobile home, you can decide how lucky you think you are when it comes to a potential disaster. I think most Americans, depending on their circumstances, view insurance in general as a very flexible or in some cases unnecessary expense. Apparently Congressmen Shimkus and Yoho think that way.
And there's another thing that the word "insurance" brings to mind, the insurance industry -- a group of for-profit businesses competing for markets. The industry has a proud history as a product of our free enterprise system. We need it. So it's understandable to think of our nation's healthcare as just one more product from the insurance business.
Here's the catch with that thinking. Unlike an automobile, which you don't have to own, and not everyone does, or a house, which also is not something everyone has, all of us possess "health." Your health is with you 24/7. It literally is you. And although you may have some control over your health's quality by not smoking, not drinking in excess, good eating habits, exercise, you cannot control the curveballs nature may throw at you. You can't control your DNA, the impact of an unhealthy environment, exposure to a harmful disease. -- And you can't control accidents.
To lump the process of healthcare protection for Americans as equivalent to the process of buying auto insurance is recklessly misguided. Like Medicare, it does make sense to have a national system of healthcare protection administered by insurance industry experts. But our personal health, the preventive care we receive, the specialized care we may require, should not be decided using for-profit parameters. Whether or not one of us receives desperately necessary medical treatment should never depend on a bottom line decision. (This happens, even under the ACA.)
Healthcare in the United States should be available to every American without complex strings attached. And if the pool of participants in the system includes every person in the United States -- those in lifelong perfect health along with those with a congenital condition - I would think that massive pie should work better than what Paul Ryan seems to believe is ideal. -- What Paul and his congressional fans are trying to explain sounds to me a lot like "splunge."
NTDO member since 1973
P.S. If you'd like to watch the classic Monty Python "Splunge" sketch, click here. --- But please read the rest of this newsletter before you do.
These are the two websites I implore you to visit before you leave this newsletter. They will give you a a much clearer picture of what is going on behind the unusual local election campaign being waged in New Trier:
The first website
was created by
"The Wilmette Friends."
It has a clear (and short) explanation of why these local residents are supporting specific candidate slates. It also offers information on each recommended candidate, a list of the supporters and an invitation to join them.
To visit that website
The second website has a compelling trailer to a crowd-funded film now in production titled "New Trier - Tip of the Spear."
(It should be appearing at the Wilmette theater soon.) The trailer does a fascinating job of connecting the dots between what may be dark outside money and our local community elections. It's only about 3-minutes long but it packs a wallop.
To visit that website click here.
Don't Forget -- April 4 is
New Trier Township Election Day!
Have you visited Senator Biss' website "The Road Back" --
click on the link to his video -- then, throughout the summer follow his plan's development on the website.
Daniel explains a lot about how Illinois got where it is today and how we can begin the journey on the road back toward achieving our state's tremendous economic potential.
This Saturday March 18
the New Trier Township Candidate Forum --
sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Wilmette.
Saturday, March 18,
Wilmette Village Hall
1200 Wilmette Avenue, Wilmette
Off year elections traditionally draw an embarrassingly low voter turnout. This situation has the potential to produce results that we sometimes come to regret. This election year it is more important than ever that you participate in the voting process. You can learn more about the candidates at this valuable forum. This is especially important in the contested races such as for District 39 and for the N.T. Township Board.
9:00am Village of Wilmette Board of Trustees
10:00am Wilmette Park District Board of Commissioners
11:00am Wilmette School District 39 Board of Education
12:00pm Wilmette School District 37 Board of Education
1:00pm New Trier Township Board of Trustees*
The League of Women Voters of Wilmette
*In cooperation with LWV Winnetka/Northfield/Kenilworth
This Monday, March 20 in Wilmette
A New Trier Township Property Tax workshop
New Trier Township property owners are invited to attend a Property Tax Appeal Workshop. The workshop will review how to file a property tax assessment appeal with the Cook County Assessor.
Monday, March 20,
Wilmette Park District
Community Rec Center
3000 Glenview Road, Wilmette
Larry Suffredin, Cook County Commissioner
Joe Berrios, Cook County Assessor
Jan Churchwell, New Trier Township Assessor
In cooperation with:
Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky
State Senator Daniel Biss
State Representative Laura Fine
State Representative Robyn Gabel
Please bring a copy of your property tax bill or your property index number (PIN).
Appeals must be filed by
Monday, April 3, 2017
Other upcoming events and news items:
This Friday morning, March 17 in Chicago - Breakfast with U.S. Senator Dick Durbin.
Friday, March 17, from 8:00 - 9:30am
Where: Ema, 66 W. Illinois, Chicago
(valet parking is available)
lunch and program: 12:00 - 1:30pm
Friday, March 17, Registration/reception: 11:00am;
This Friday, March 17 in Chicago -- ACLU Lunch: Fighting for a More Perfect Union.
go. 720 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago
The ACLU Lunch with guest speaker Jelani Cobb, author and journalist who writes about injustice and the complexity of race in America for The New Yorker. To sit with Tenth Dems, Reserve your seat now-register here, email email@example.com or call (847) 266-8683.
Purchase your tickets quickly: this event will likely sell out.
Thursday, March 23 in Chicago - Protest Paul Ryan's agenda
Thursday, March 23, 2017 from 4:30 - 7:30p
Where: Chicago Club, 81 E. Van Buren St., Chicago
What: A protest at a $50,000 a seat fundraiser in Chicago against Paul Ryan and Washington's agenda of racism, sexism, bigotry and war
Thursday, March 30 in Chicago -
Tell Gov. Rauner: "Do Your Job!"
Thursday, March 30, 2017 from 5:00 - 8:00pm
Where: Hilton Chicago Hotel, 720 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago
What: Protest hosted by Illinois Working Together, AFSCME Council 31, SEIU, Citizen Action/Illinois and other groups at Rauner's "Governor's Dinner" fundraiser for himself and other Republican politicians.
For more information or to RSVP register online
the Peoples Climate March on April 29 in Washington D.C.
Wednesday, April 19 in Chicago -- ICPR Presents
the Mikva Award to Hon. Adlai and Nancy Stevenson
ICPR Presents Mikva Award to Hon. Adlai and Nancy Stevenson
: Wednesday, April 19, from Noon - 1:30pm
: Petterino's, 150 N. Dearborn St., Chicago
: Judge Mary Mikva will join The Illinois Campaign for Political Reform (ICPR) to present the Stevensons with The Mikva Legacy Award For Truth and Justice for their extensive work in Illinois through advocacy, public service, and the Stevenson Center on Democracy.
You can RSVP online or call ICPR at 312-436-1274 for questions.
Start making plans now for
On Saturday, April 29 in our nation's capital and across the country, marchers will stand together to demand that Donald Trump act in a meaningful way to address the climate crisis and stop attacking the hard-won protections for all our communities, especially people of color, indigenous people, women, and more. Together, we can show the world that we demand climate action. To sign up for the Washington march click here. -- (More details for events across the country to follow.)
When: Saturday, April 29, 9:00 AM -3:00 PM
Where: Washington D.C.
who represent New Trier Township in
Washington, Springfield and Cook County
You'll be hearing a lot from these exceptional public servants. --
And they want to be hearing a lot from you.
The fact is, they need to hear from you and want to hear from you in order to represent you most effectively. So, the first thing you can do is get to know who these people are. The links below to their campaign websites are a good place to start.
, 9th U.S. Congressional District Representative
and Chief Deputy House Democratic Whip. The new Ninth District boundaries include all of New Trier except for Glencoe.
, 10th U.S. Congressional District Representative which includes a number of precincts in Glencoe.
Julie Morrison, State Senator for Illinois' 29th State Senate District
State Senator for Illinois' 9th State Senate Distric
t.The Ninth District includes all of New Trier Township.
. The district includes New Trier's northernmost precincts.
IL 18th District State Representative
. The 18th District includes much of New Trier up to Hazel Avenue and Dundee Road.
, IL 17th District State Representative.
The 17th District includes the East Glenview and West Wilmette areas of New Trier Township.
IL 58th District State Representative.
The 58th District includes the northernmost precincts in Glencoe.
Larry Suffredin, Cook County 13th District Commissioner. The 13th District includes all of New Trier, Evanston and Niles Townships.
Dear Fellow Democrats,
If you are not already an NTDO member, and enjoy our Newsletter, we hope you consider joining us as a dues-paying member. NTDO is a not-for-profit political action organization. We depend on our membership dues to support our Democratic causes and candidates.
There are two options for dues payments: by check or credit card.
By Check: Make check payable to NTDO and mail to our office:
800 Oak St., Suite 112
Winnetka, IL 60093
By Credit Card: visit our website by clicking here
Click on the "Get Involved" tab
Find the link for "contribute with ActBlue"
or go directly there by clicking here.
|Still not a member of the New Trier Dems? Your participation in grassroots political action will make a difference. -- Come join us.
When you're a member of the New Trier Democratic Organization, you have an active role in affecting the political process; participating in grassroots campaigns, staying in touch with elected officials, playing a role in deciding which candidates are endorsed. You'll also gain free admission to select forums and events throughout the year.
Come be a part of New Trier's grassroots political community.
The New Trier Democratic Organization is made up of hundreds of grassroots volunteers dedicated to advancing progressive ideals through the political process. We welcome your participation.
Dean T. Maragos, Committeeman New Trier Township
We are located at 800 Oak Street in Winnetka, IL. Ph: 847-446-8030
*This Internet communication paid for by the New Trier Democratic Organization and not authorized by any federal or state candidate or campaign committee. A copy of our report filed with the State Board of Elections is available for purchase from the State Board of Elections in Springfield, Illinois.