An opponent of President Barack Obama's health care law demonstrates outside the Supreme Court in Washington on Thursday. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Updated: July 30, 2012 6:22AM
This has truly been a historical week. The Supreme Court has upheld the individual mandate after striking down most of the Arizona immigration law. Never before has more power been transferred to Washington in a single week.
On Monday the court said that states cannot legislate in areas where the federal government legislates, and this means the states can legislate in very few areas, indeed. On Thursday, the court ruled that the federal government can compel individuals to engage in commerce, and penalize them if they do not purchase what the government says they must.
In a single week federalism, the 10th Amendment and any ability of an individual to control his or her own money were destroyed.
Gerald Shinn, Pilsen
Illinois needs expanded Medicaid
The U.S. Supreme Court Thursday upheld most of Affordable Care Act, which guarantees coverage for up to 57 million Americans — 32 million uninsured and 25 million underinsured in just a few years.
We are pleased with the decision, especially letting stand the mandate requiring all Americans to purchase insurance through health insurance exchanges. This will establish the right framework among providers, insurance companies, government and citizens, a practice essential for meaningful reform.
However the decision to rule unconstitutional the required Medicaid expansion causes us great concern. The Medicaid expansion offered low- and moderate-income Americans their best hope of obtaining full coverage for their health care needs.
At Chicago Family Health Center, medical home to more 28,000 low-income South Side residents, more than 6,300 of our uninsured would have been covered under the Medicaid expansion clause. CFHC could have gained up to $1.6 million in new revenue.
We urge Illinois and every other state to remain true to the Affordable Care Act by expanding Medicaid for their neediest residents. It truly is the responsible thing to do.
Warren J. Brodin, CEO,
Chicago Family Health Center
We still need a single payer system
The Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutionality of President Barack Obama’s health reform leaves much to be done before the American people have a decent health system. Unfortunately, the reform won’t control costs but will leave 26 million people uninsured and everyone else with “unaffordable underinsurance,” or coverage so skimpy it doesn’t protect from financial ruin in the event of illness.
What is needed now, as Barack Obama noted nearly a decade ago, is enactment of improved Medicare for all, everybody in, nobody out. By replacing our dysfunctional, profit-seeking, private insurance industry with a streamlined single-payer system we can save over $400 billion squandered annually on administrative overhead, enough to cover all 50 million of the uninsured and eliminate co-pays and deductibles for everyone else. Moreover, only a single-payer system can control costs and reduce our nation’s deficit over the long term.
Let us hope that the American people will soon be able to join the citizens of other industrialized, democratic nations, from Canada to Taiwan, in being able to see a doctor without fear of personal debt or national deficit.
Quentin Young, M.D., Loop
Don’t count the voters out
The pundits who think whichever candidate raises the most money will win the presidency have forgotten the American people actually do the voting.
Joseph H. Glass, Glenwood
Study was commissioned here
In the recent editorial “Call It Chiwauki — your megacity home” it references that an important study was released by a Paris-based economics group in March. In fact, it was the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce that commissioned the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development to publish a competiveness analysis of the regional economy. The editorial correctly states the conclusion that the “Midwestern megalopolis would be much more of an economic powerhouse, far greater than the sum of its parts, if it developed closer economic, transportation, academic and green technology ties.”
This cutting-edge economic development approach is being embraced with the creation of the Tri State Alliance for Regional Development at the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. The mission of the alliance will be to enhance the economic competitiveness of the greater Chicagoland region, including Wisconsin and Indiana, by identifying projects and coordinating collaboration among stakeholders in the public and private sectors. Leaders from government, the private sector and academia will be working together to tend to the ecosystems of industry clusters — especially growth clusters. The Alliance is in the formation stage but is a direct result of the OECD study and is being put in place to implement its recommendations.
We are pleased that the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and the Law School at Marquette University are sponsoring a July 17 conference. In fact, one of our own at the Chamber, Kelly O’Brien, senior vice president for economic development, will also be attending and speaking. In addition, on July 25 the Metropolitan Planning Council is hosting its annual luncheon with the mayors from Milwaukee, Chicago and Gary.
Today, there is a better understanding of the benefits and an emerging commitment across state lines to work together, and we are pleased to lead this charge. So when the editorial goes on to say, “Not that this is likely to happen soon” . . . it is in fact already happening.
Jerry Roper, president/CEO
Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce