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“Illinois deserves integrity from all its public servants:
talk the talk on repeal?  Then walk the walk, Congress”- Campaign for Better Health Care 

 
Springfield, IL – After a press conference in Springfield, prior to the repeal of healthcare reform legislation yesterday (January 19, 2011), Jim Duffett, Executive Director of the Campaign for Better Health Care said, “Today the Campaign for Better Health Care is announcing that the people of Illinois expect integrity from Illinois’ members of Congress. We issue this demand to any legislator that votes for repeal of the ACA: If you vote for repeal of the Affordable Care Act, we expect you to issue a public statement stating that you and your family will not take part in the taxpayer subsidized, government administered health insurance plan that is available to you as a member of Congress. Your vote for repeal is taking away the same health care protections and benefits from your constituents that you and your family enjoy at their expense.” 
 
He continued, “It is only right for our members of Congress to walk the walk and not just talk the talk, so we expect them to be principled and take personal responsibility for their legislative actions.
 
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) identified repeal of the Affordable Care Act as the Republicans’ “#1 legislative priority,” according to Politico.  The double standard is hard to miss.  The push for repeal means the American people would lose protection for people with pre-existing conditions, subsidies to make health premiums affordable, a prescription drug benefit with no coverage gap, and protection against catastrophic health care costs, among other benefits of the Affordable Care Act – benefits the very people voting for repeal would keep for themselves.  
 
“I find the double standard of this vote revolting,” said Midge Hough, a Campaign for Better Health Care member.  “That any members of Congress would see the stripping of these benefits from the American people as a positive action is astounding enough – but the fact that they would then retain those benefits for themselves is beyond comprehension.  What’s good enough for them is good enough for us.  Why aren’t they using their time in Washington to work on creating jobs instead of taking away benefits that will help millions of Americans?”
 
“Since coming to Congress in 1999, I’ve literally heard thousands of personal stories from constituents about how our deeply flawed health care system has wreaked havoc on their lives — from kids being denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition to insurance companies dropping people when they get sick to families going uninsured because they cannot afford coverage,” said Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL). “With the Affordable Care Act, we stand up for Americans and begin to solve those problems. Yet Republicans are working aggressively to repeal the law and take these life-changing health care protections away.  I absolutely will not stand for repeal and neither will the millions of Americans who are already benefitting from the law.”
 
The Affordable Care Act would not just create new jobs, but will provide other positive fiscal impacts for the country.  The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has projected that repeal will add directly $230 billion to the U.S. Governments deficit this decade and another $1 trillion+ in the decade after that. In addition, repeal will add nearly $2000 annually to family insurance premiums. “Republicans are saying that an increase in the deficit and higher health care premiums for my family and yours are the way to go?  It makes no sense whatsoever,” said Carmen Velasquez, Executive Director of Alivio Medical Center.
 
Despite Republican claims, “major health insurance companies are reporting a significant increase in small businesses offering health care benefits to their employees.  Why?  Because the tax cut created in the ACA providing small businesses with an incentive to give health benefits to employees is working,” reported Rick Ungar in Forbes magazine.  He noted, “38% of the businesses that are signing up had not offered health benefits before.”
 
194,000 small businesses in Illinois alone may be eligible for the new tax credit since passage of the Affordable Care Act.  “Throughout our 35 years in business, Illinois Times has provided health insurance to our full time employees – and covered 50% of those costs.  Regardless of the cost, we’ve always felt it is just the right thing to do,” said Sharon Whelan, publisher of Illinois Times.  “It’s good to know that beginning this year there will be a tax credit to cover some of these costs – the credit makes it easier for us to offer other benefits like disability coverage and providing access to a local fitness facility.  Our small business couldn’t function without a healthy staff, ready and able to do their work each day.”
 
CBHC’s Duffett concluded, “Republicans know that this repeal effort is not going to be successful, and rightfully so.  This pandering to their extremist wing of their base is a huge waste of time, when there are so many serious problems that the American people face right now.  I fail to understand how closing the donut hole and offering free preventative care to our seniors, guaranteeing coverage for those with pre-existing conditions and children up to age 26, or prohibiting the most egregious abuses of the insurance industry like taking your coverage away when you get sick and need it most are what the Republicans find worthy of support for their constituents.  If they believe that repeal is the best thing for the American people, then certainly they should have to face the same challenges as a result as the rest of us will.”
 
Editor’s Note: The House voted 245-189 yesterday (January 19, 2011) to repeal health care reform legislation. 
 
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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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