Eric Zorn wrote a Tribune column about House Resolution 676 (H.Res. 676). It's a resolution to support The "Medicare For All Act." And it's an action that columnist Zorn believes could finally lead to a serious movement toward true universal healthcare.
I believe that too.
As House bill HR 676 the Medicare For All Act would "provide all individuals residing in the United States and U.S. territories with free health care that includes all medically necessary care, such as primary care and prevention, dietary and nutritional therapies, prescription drugs, emergency care, long-term care, mental health services, dental services, and vision care."
In the days after President Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan introduced the Republican Party's American Healthcare Act, a spotlight was focused on what the public needs and expects for their healthcare as Americans. This renewed national discussion of the pros and cons of the present Obamacare system and the Trump/Ryan replacement struck me as a timely opportunity for Congressional Democrats to introduce something new and better, and in the process take a serious discussion of this important national issue to a new, productive level.
The main premise of Mr. Zorn's column went something like this: There are moments in our society when the "public mind" (at least the majority of those minds) is open to the discussion of a major shift in public norms. In a democracy, this means the lawmakers find themselves with the public's "permission" - and beyond that, their encouragement - to pursue new policy.
In times when that permission isn't prevalent, legislators have little hope of moving in a new direction. But when that moment begins to appear, our political representatives need to recognize it, initiate discussion and keep that discussion going. They cannot be tentative. They must keep the subject on the front burner.
As an example, Zorn mentioned the arrival of same-sex marriage as a now accepted reality across our nation. Not too many years ago, just the discussion of that possibility would have been considered naïve. But over time, the public's views began to change.
No single event shifted public opinion. Factors ranged from the human tragedy of the Aids crisis to TV sit-com gay themes. We saw the "coming out" of popular public figures. Lawsuits and legislation began to attack cases of discrimination in business. Our all-volunteer military began to face reality and shift its policies. It all built up to a moment when laws could be proposed and eventually passed that finally recognized that gay men and women in America have the right to marry the person they love.
The bill for Medicare for All has been introduced in every Congress since 2003, and as Eric Zorn said, with Republicans controlling every branch of government it has no chance of becoming law. But this year 56% of House Democrats (109 of 193) have signed it -- so far. The Illinois Representatives signing as co-sponsors were Schakowsky, Kelly, Gutierrez, Davis and Rush. At this point, several Illinois Representatives have declined to sign on.
Zorn contacted the offices of each of the Illinois Congresspersons who declined to sign, Representatives Quigley, Lipinski, Foster, Bustos, Krishnamoorthi and Schneider and he reported that each had thoughtful reasons for not yet signing. It is certainly true that implementing a "single-payer system," so completely different from the present less-than-satisfactory mixed system of private and government is a very complex proposition.
But with that said, the importance of pushing back against the Republican Party's gutting of healthcare services for so many Americans is very real. Although President Obama's Affordable Care Act is flawed, it has given millions of Americans a level of healthcare security they had never known. And ironically, the outrageously bad American Healthcare Act constructed by Paul Ryan's House members has shown millions of Americans how much worse things could be.
If it weren't for the almost daily string of screwy actions by President Trump, the subject of rewriting a better American healthcare plan would have quite likely continued to be one of America's most discussed issues. And it still can be if the Democratic Party strategists and leadership, and all of our Illinois Representatives decide to take a stand on what our nation's ideal healthcare goal should be.
Based on the number of Democratic Congresspersons who co-sponsored the H.Res. 676, more than half (56%) of the Democrats in the U.S. House already believe Medicare for All should be America's healthcare system. And, polls show that a lot of voters lean toward that idea. Almost everyone knows someone who has Medicare coverage. Virtually everyone trusts it. As Zorn said on Friday, even Donald Trump endorsed the concept of Medicare for All in a book back in 2000.
Obamacare was a brave effort to address this obvious need but it is clear that it did not resolve the issue. House Resolution 676 deserves to be a major Democratic Party talking point as we approach the 2018 elections. Our Illinois Congresspersons, all of them, should not let this opportunity pass.
NTDO member since 1973
Good News! We now have a new NTD Office Manager. Our new office manager is
Joan Fishman. On top of being a very nice person, Joan has impressive administrative experience. As the summer NTDO activities progress, many of you will have opportunities to meet her.
If you missed Jan Schakowsky's
UltimateWomen's Power Lunch,
here is a link to a video of the entire event.
To watch parts or all of the lunch presentation
just click here.
(you can fast forward at any time)
Mark you calendar now for
Thursday, May 25 from 6 to 8 pm
at theWilmette Wine Cellar
1100 Central Avenue, Wilmette
Come join in a Networking event with fellow Democrats
from New Trier -- and far beyond!
If you enjoy meeting new friends, sharing ideas, stimulating conversation -- and drinking good wine...
This is the place to be on May 25.
See you there.
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.
FYI: The NTDO Events Calendar
for the rest of 2017
May 25 -- A NETWORKING EVENT
6 pm-8pm at The Wilmette Wine Cellar
11 Central Ave., Wilmette
All Democrats Welcome!
June 23-24 GLENCOE SIDEWALK SALE
9 am-5 pm Downtown Glencoe
July 14 -15
WINNETKA SIDEWALK SALE
9 am-5 pm Downtown Winnetka
July 22 -23 WILMETTE SIDEWALK SALE
9am-5pm Downtown Wilmette
July 17 ANNUAL MEET AND GREET AVLI ESTIATORIO
566 Chestnut, Winnetka, 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Sept. 10 NTDO ANNUAL MEETING AND PICNIC
Lake View Room and Beach Pavilion 1 pm - 4 pm
Oct. 8 2017 NTDO ANNUAL DINNER
Maggiano's Old Orchard, Skokie, 5 pm-9 pm
Nov. (Date & Place TBA)
"HEAD START FOR 2018" CONFERENCE
All North Shore Democrats Invited
Other upcoming events and news items:
Sunday, May 21 in Mettawa - The General Consul of China Presents "The Sino-U.S. Relationship in a New Era."
Sunday, May 21, at 2:00pm
The Stevenson Center on Democracy, 25200 N. St. Mary's Rd., Mettawa (Libertyville)
The Stevenson Center on Democracy presents Hong Lei, Consul General of China at Chicago, speaking on The Sino-U.S. Relationship in the New Era. Coffee and conversation will follow the presentation.
Monday, May 22 in Chicago -- The Asian American Festival
Monday, May 22.
The Festival continues through Friday, May 26th.
Richard J. Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington St., Chicago
What: The Asian American Coalition of Chicago sponsors its 16th Annual Asian American Festival, this year hosted by the Pakistani American Community. The festival, with the theme "One World, Our World," offers entertainment, arts and crafts booths and colorful harmony.
Friday, June 9 in Chicago -- When:
The People's Summit with Senator Bernie Sanders.
People's Summit 2.0. A gathering of several thousand progressive activists with the theme, "Beyond Resistance: A People's Movement for a Just World." Keynote speaker: Senator Bernie Sanders. The event continues through Sunday, June 11.
For additional information or to register online, visit the People's Summit website.
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.