Sen. Harmon’s pass-through explanation of state’s money problems, Rep. Lilly gets personal

At town hall meeting, Oak Park library, July 17, 2013 — from Illinois Blues: How the Ruling Party Talks to Voters — about money shortage, health care costs, other scary things: 

A pensioner asked about the state’s running out of money. This is “the scariest part” of the problem, Harmon said, having earlier dismissed crisis-talk. He took the question as regarding pension funds, which it probably was, and for some reason addressing it as a failure in communication.

“Most don’t understand” the situation, he said. “We [elected officials] pass money through” to citizens who depend on them — presenting himself and his fellows as conduit, rather than deciders, people responsible for this scariest part.

Rep. Lilly explains:

A questioner asked if Obamacare would lower the cost of health care. Lilly, chuckling: “I attended Medicaid 101,” apparently for rookie legislators. Then she asked incredibly, “When are we going to talk about the cost of health care?” She had been “the first to bring it up,” she announced, presumably in a meeting of the Health & Healthcare Disparities committee, of which she was vice-chair.

The first to bring it up? It must have caused a stir.

“For me, health care is not affordable,” she said. She meant in her opinion, as if hers was a minority opinion. “We need to talk about that.” Right. “I think the high cost does impact access!” Right on! “I see every day what it costs,” apparently in her work at Loretto Hospital. “Where do we begin?” Let’s get started!

Harmon’s optimism:

Harmon had heard enough. “The cost of the uninsured is the main problem,” namely “in their use of emergency rooms,” he said. “Obamacare is going to dramatically lower costs by just eliminating this alone.” He was sure of this. Others were not, and costs were to rise.

Lilly added: “The healthier you are, the less costly it is.” Yes!

Next, the Wood Dale interlude

Illinois Blues is available in paperbackepub and Amazon Kindle formats.

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