Thursday, November 2, 2017

Pritzker wants your vote – puts self in middle of political brawl over insurance

For those people who actually rely upon the Affordable Care Act (myself included) in order to have something resembling health insurance, Illinois Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker is making what some might try to claim is a self-serving attempt to gain our votes.

PRITZKER: Buying our votes? Or taking interest?
Then again, those of us who are in need of the federal assistance in order to be able to afford health insurance may well be willing to give our votes to Pritzker because he seems to be one of the few officials willing to take an interest in the issue.

THE REALITY THESE days is that Republicans have always hated the idea of the Affordable Care Act, and not just because it was an accomplishment of former President Barack Obama.

They seriously want to believe that people make a conscious choice to go without health insurance. They want to believe that people who don’t have some sort of health plan are somehow too lazy to work a decent job or are otherwise incapable of providing for themselves.

In which case, it’s their own fault. It shouldn’t be a task of the government to help individuals come up with a medical plan.

I know in my case, I haven’t held a full-time job in 12 years. I have managed to earn income through assorted freelance work, which some people claim has the advantage of me being able to set my own work hours, get personal business taken care of during the weekdays and can also work from home.
TRUMP: Could care less about issue

I DON’T HAVE to show up at anyone’s office. Personally, I miss the newsroom atmosphere of past news outfits I’ve worked for. But also, it means nobody is providing me with a health insurance policy as a perk for my work.

Trust me, the cost of just about every health policy I ever looked into was above my freelance pay grade – particularly since one of the disadvantages of freelance work is that the pay can be irregular. The occasional week with a significant check, followed up by many weeks of piddling amounts of money – and the periodic time period for which my check resembles a strong resemblance to the kind of money I used to bring in when I was a kid reporter at the old City News Bureau of Chicago (grossing just under $10,000 per year back in those days).
IVES: Can she be viable Rauner option?

So yes, the stipends from Affordable Care are the reason I have been able to afford health insurance the past three years. It’s nice to know that the occasional doctor’s visit won’t put me further in debt.

Which is an issue the Republican partisans don’t want to be concerned with. They are the ones who have created so many bureaucratic messes that the financial stability of the Affordable Care Act is threatened. Considering they would just as soon see it go away, I don’t doubt they wouldn’t mind seeing it fail – they’ll refuse to take responsibility for the failure, so what do they care! Particularly our current president – who probably figures it won’t impact him at all.

THAT IS WHERE Pritzker is trying to gain himself some support, putting aside roughly $1 million to buy airtime across Illinois to remind people using the Affordable Care Act that we’re at that time of year (deadline is Dec. 15) in which we have to renew our participation.

I know in my case, I’ve been informed by the insurance company that has provided me insurance that the specific health plan I have used will no longer be offered. I have to find something new to cover me beginning in 2018.

I’m curious to see how much confusion the Republican partisans will try to create amongst those who actually have to make changes in our plans, and I’ll admit I’m dreading the process.
RAUNER: Wishes insurance issue would go away

So to learn there’s an official in the form of Pritzker who isn’t eager to see the whole process detonate is a bit of a relief.

IT’S ALMOST ENOUGH to sway me to cast a vote for J.B. come the March 20 Democratic primary. Sorry, but I’m not the type disgusted by Gov. Bruce Rauner that I’d actually consider a vote for Jeanne Ives – the woman who messed up her nominating petitions and now has to start over if she wants to get on the ballot for the ’18 election cycle.

Although I’m not deluded enough to think J.B. Pritzker has any personal interest in my case. With all the money he has in personal wealth he’s willing to spend on trying to become Illinois’ new governor, this $1 million for Affordable Care Act advertising may well be pocket change to him.

But his “pocket change” could wind up impacting the livelihoods of many of the rest of us across Illinois.


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