Forum: A lesson for Mark Kirk
May 22, 2012 8:34PM
Updated: July 2, 2012 9:55AM
Phil Kadner’s May 9 column describes how U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk is recovering from his stroke, thanks to the generous health insurance that’s provided to senators. How about the rest of us? Would your insurance take care of you in the same way? What if you didn’t have insurance?
Kadner’s column should be required reading by all legislators who signed Grover Norquist’s pledge to never raise taxes. The GOP protects tax breaks for the rich and billions in federal subsidies for America’s wealthiest corporations. Programs that are needed for the health and welfare of our country are being cut back because of this “no taxes” pledge.
We’re constantly reminded of the “entitlements” of Medicare and Social Security, but millionaires are not asked to pay their fair share in taxes. Necessary programs for the common good are being put on the chopping block, but tax loopholes that benefit the wealthy persist.
When Kirk returns to Washington, he should reflect on how insurance made a tremendous difference in his recovery and how insurance (or the lack of it) affects the rest of us.
Retirees need to get active
May is Older Americans Month, and we, the grandparents of America, urge our fellow Americans to join with us to protect our earned health care benefits. Sadly, more than 22 million retirees across America have had their health care benefits canceled by former employers, and another 14.3 million are on the verge of losing them.
Millions of us are in the same sinking health insurance boat. Our generation was told that if we stayed our entire career with the same company, while accepting lower pay and less vacation, we would receive employer-sponsored health benefits throughout our retirement in return.
With 2012 being a congressional and presidential election year, retirees need to stand up and be counted because many of our former employers have sought ways to rid themselves of health care contracts with their retirees. I’m active with protectseniors.org, which is leading the fight to protect earned retiree health care benefits. I encourage all retirees and our neighbors to get involved, join protectseniors.org and show Congress and the presidential candidates we mean business and demand a law to protect our families.
Media hype beyond parody
In the aftermath of the NATO Summit, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that we, as citizens of Chicago, were had by the mayor’s master propagandizing against the protesters. So much fear was ratcheted up and for what purpose?
Do people realize that many of those protesting were U.S. military veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan? The reason most people don’t is that it does not fit the neat little picture that the mayor and the media wanted to present of the barbarian hordes of protesters descending on our fair city.
Those vets had the guts to reveal who the real purveyors of violence are — the leaders of NATO.