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Daley to governor: “Set your priorities”

Thursday, May 31, 2007

It’s doubtful that the governor will listen to Mayor Daley, but he ought to

With time running out in Springfield, Mayor Daley urged Gov. Blagojevich today to abandon his universal health care plan — or settle for a cheaper version of it — to fund the higher priorities of education and mass transit.

“You have to set your priorities. . . . Education is the highest priority [or] should be in the state of Illinois because if you don’t educate children, then you have major issues — not just health. You have criminal activity. That’s what’s happening for many, many years. We have not educated children. Our prisons are loaded up with a lot of young, young people,” Daley said.

“You never know. Maybe he can get . . . something [for health care.] But, you have education and you have public transportation. This session was supposed to be a session of getting things done [on those two key issues.] . . . If the session just ends with nothing happening, that’s a very sad comment on the Democratic Party.” […]

“You need universal health care [nationwide]. You can’t do it city by city, county by county or state by state. You wish you could, but you couldn’t. Because say if I have 500 employees. . . . Now they come along and say, ‘I’m gonna charge you extra to give everybody health care.’ Well, why should I be in the state of Illinois? I’ll go someplace else,” Daley said.

Daley’s comments are pretty much right on the money. There just isn’t the will to raise revenues for education, infrastructure AND health care. Time to back off.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Leroy - Thursday, May 31, 07 @ 12:47 pm:

    Why doesn’t Daley fix transit?

    How much money *does* the City of Chicago give the CTA every year?

    The CTA creates vast amounts of wealth for Chicago. Why don’t we use some of that to fund it?

  2. - Tom - Thursday, May 31, 07 @ 1:05 pm:

    $3M/yr, same as in the early 80s.

  3. - NRA Endowment Life Member - Thursday, May 31, 07 @ 1:05 pm:

    No more state funding to Chicago for their mass transit system. If CTA is truly worth having let the city self-fund or cut back until it is profitable. Daley needs to stop using the state as his personal funding mechanism.

  4. - Skeeter - Thursday, May 31, 07 @ 1:17 pm:

    Daley is way off on this one.

    When has more money for education actually improved education?

    On the other hand, more money for transit or health care will actually do some good.

    I am tired of Illinois wasting my money on the bloated education system. The problem cannot be fixed by tossing more cash.

  5. - Lula May - Thursday, May 31, 07 @ 1:29 pm:

    You people have got to be kidding. Chicagoland tax dollars pay for everything in this state. We are just asking for a small percentage back.
    And we really are tired of paying for the rest of this sorry state.

  6. - Black Rider - Thursday, May 31, 07 @ 1:31 pm:

    The notion that the CTA is “Chicago’s problem” alone is shortchanging any thoughtful discussion on this point. The CTA gets people in and out of Chicago, provides link-ups for Metra riders, and takes thousands of vehicles off the road each day. If the CTA is allowed to go under–as both the legislature and the unions seem willing to do–it will not affect only Chicago.

  7. - Jacques Strappe - Thursday, May 31, 07 @ 1:32 pm:

    Just wanted to point out that the gov DID set his priorities: for him, health care was tops. He was clear about it. Said many times that nothing else would get done until his top priority was addressed.

    Unfort. for the gov, health care turned out to be pretty much no one else’s top priority. Education was.

  8. - Doug Dobmeyer - Thursday, May 31, 07 @ 1:37 pm:

    Daley’s right on this one, but very wrong on wanting to bring a casino to Chgo to pay for expenditures.

    Blago needs to phase in his health plans, which are very good. Unless he’s willing to support a tax increase the health plans will never take off.


  9. - Anonymous - Thursday, May 31, 07 @ 1:38 pm:

    despite what anyone thinks of the mayor, you must admit that he wants the Governor’s priorities to be his priorities. Just a tad self serving if you ask me… it takes the CTA funding crisis off da Mayor’s back.

  10. - NRA Endowment Life Member - Thursday, May 31, 07 @ 1:47 pm:

    Rider -

    We can have all the discussion you like but I will not support state level funding for city infrastructure. Please explain how in any manner CTA benefits the citizens of northwestern, central, western, eastern or southern Illinois.

    It should not be downstates’ responsibility to fund CTA so that Daley can spend city money elsewhere. Again - let da Mayor pony up the dough if CTA is his priority. It isn’t mine.

  11. - Anonymous - Thursday, May 31, 07 @ 1:48 pm:

    There are 3 problems with education in this state:

    Illinois General Assembly

  12. - Anonymous - Thursday, May 31, 07 @ 1:56 pm:

    Daley has never cared about health care. He has slashed the city’s health department over the years, pushing responsibility onto Cook County. Since he’s not responsible for the plight of the uninsured in Chicago, it just isn’t his priority and - by extension - apparently he doesn’t think it should be the Governor’s. But since Daley IS responsible for schools and transit, he wants that to be the Governor’s priorities, too. A pretty self-centered view of what’s important, but typically for Daley. It’s all about him.

  13. - Little Egypt - Thursday, May 31, 07 @ 2:03 pm:

    No one taught Blago how to back down gracefully and save face. Are he wouldn’t listen if anyone gave him an option to do so. He is his own worst enemy.

  14. - Little Egypt - Thursday, May 31, 07 @ 2:03 pm:

    That should be “And” he wouldn’t listen.

  15. - Cassandra - Thursday, May 31, 07 @ 2:08 pm:

    Daley may be right but he is hardly objective. His Chicago constituents already have universal health care. Whether insured or not, they can get their medical care and prescriptions entirely free
    from Cook County Hospital which is, I believe, about to get another infusion of federal cash.
    Until recently, CCH didn’t even both to seek third party reimbursement for insured patients. Probably still doesn’t. And there is plenty of capacity left, recent alleged (it’s not clear how many employees have actually left their jobs) layoffs notwithstanding. In any case, Chicagoans are in a far different situation with respect to health care than those living far from a public hospital. Virtually every Chicagoan is one hour max from CCH. Thirty minutes max by car.

    Daley wants to bail out Chicago schools and transit so he can preserve thousands of make-work patronage jobs in those systems. After a great deal of hype, Ron and Carole only managed to get rid of 18 hacks (maybe) at the CTA, which has thousands of them. The Chicago school system is riddled with waste and fraud and lack of accountability. The teachers union is getting ready to hold it up again for big money, again, completely nconnected to performance. And, as so many have stated, there is no guarantee that more money will improve a system which already has receive many billions in recent years, especially more money without performance accountability.

    I’m sure Daley is sincere when he says he wants to fund schools and mass transit. But he wants to do it his way–with most of the money going to Chicago and with the patronage and corruption and lack of accountability intact.

  16. - Lula May - Thursday, May 31, 07 @ 2:10 pm:

    Ok I’ll say it again. Health care is not Rod’s priority. Rod is Rod’s priority. He’s pulling a George Ryan. He thinks if he gives the people health care when the indictments come down all the people will rise up in his defense.
    Same playbook Ryan tried to use concerning the death penalty.

  17. - dk57 - Thursday, May 31, 07 @ 2:25 pm:

    “That’s what’s happening for many, many years”

    Since this Daley kid is new to politics and his family has never been powerful or in any position to address any of these problems maybe we should listen. He’s going to shake things up if we just give him a chance!

  18. - Incredible - Thursday, May 31, 07 @ 2:27 pm:

    Isn’t giving a casino to the City of Chicago to fund mass transit akin to creating the lottery to pay for education?

    I’m not falling for that one again…

  19. - leo - Thursday, May 31, 07 @ 2:54 pm:

    By the Mayor’s logic, maybe we can do away with “AllKids” as well.

    I’m sure the Federal government will jump in to pick up the slack. And while we’re waiting, it’ll save millions for the Mayor’s priorities.

  20. - Anonymous - Thursday, May 31, 07 @ 2:54 pm:

    Cassandra, you are consistently among the most ill-informed persons on this site. “Everyone” doesn’t have access at Cook County Hospital. Waiting lists are in the years, not months, for many important procedures. Treatable cancers become deadly due to delays. Quality has degraded. Daley rejects health care as a priority, not because “it’s covered” by Cook, he rejects it because it’s not his responsibility (and not as big of a concern among his typical constituent - union-covered or white collar), so he just doesn’t care.

  21. - VanillaMan - Thursday, May 31, 07 @ 3:14 pm:

    I agree with Cassandra.
    As to waiting lists in the years, take a look at any European health care system and you will see the same thing. Anyone thinking that there will be an improvement in health care if we go universal is a complete idiot. Anyone thinking that health care would be about the same as it is now is an idiot. Basic economics proves otherwise. So does history. Take a look at other nations. Even small nations without the fiscal obligations of the US are tanking due to their health care systems. You cannot provide what we currently have by government mandates. Without a profit, there is no reason to produce better quality health care.

    I lived it. Socialized medicine is no fix. Stop pretending that it is some kind of magic bullet. There are real reasons why people from so-called developed nations come to the US for health care. It is because we have it, and they don’t.

    The UK had to pass laws requiring that cancer patients get treatments within six months from diagnosis. A new study released this year indicates that their health care systems still cannot meet this new law. The average wait for cancer treatment in the UK is nine months.

    Stop pretending that socialize medicine is a panacea. What we have already is the best. What is important is to do the best we can for everyone regardless of their ability to pay. I’d rather be in Cook County Hospital, (Stroger Hospital), than in most hospitals in Western Europe. In Germany, they give you homeopathic crap to avoid costs from real drugs. Thats when they even see you.

    Wake up. Socialism is so dead. Get with it!

  22. - Objective Dem - Thursday, May 31, 07 @ 3:17 pm:

    The mayor is right that health care is a federal issue not a state/local issue.

    I don’t have enough facts to address the issue of why the rest of the state needs to give money to the CTA/METRA. Which says to me that CTA/METRA aren’t doing a good job getting their message out. I presume that on a per-capita basis downstate benefits more in state highway funds than Chicago area and funding to CTA is a way to balance this inequality.

  23. - VanillaMan - Thursday, May 31, 07 @ 3:18 pm:

    As to Daley - he is right.

    Chicago pays out in taxes more than it takes in. Anyone living outside Chicagoland needs to realize that they are the welfare recipients, not their fellow Illinoians. So let the Chicagoans keep some of their money for their transit systems - or for whatever they need it for.

    Relying on gambling to save our skins is a bad idea. Obviously the State budget is broken. Lets stop trying to find new ways to stick it to citizens. It is time for this government to either invest and grow our way out of these problems, or cut back. Enough already.

  24. - Team Sleep - Thursday, May 31, 07 @ 3:38 pm:

    1:48, you are correct. The IFT is especially damaging to the cause. I really should get my master’s in school administration.

    2:54, why should it be the mayor’s priority? He is not the governor of the state, and I believe providing health care should be a state-level mechanism. That is a lot for a city to undertake.

  25. - Beyond time - Thursday, May 31, 07 @ 3:40 pm:

    Daley’s not the boss of me! ~ Milo Veto

  26. - Objective Dem - Thursday, May 31, 07 @ 3:44 pm:

    Vanilla man,

    I find it amazing that you would say anyone who thinks that universal health care will lead to an improvement in healthcare is “a complete idiot.” Well you may consider me a complete idiot, but I can support my opinion with numerous comparative studies. In your case, it is based on the simplistic ideology, “capitalism good, socialism bad.” If we live by your ideology, we wouldn’t have government run sewer, water, schools, fire, etc. etc. Life is a bit more complicated than your simple viewpoint.

  27. - Cassandra - Thursday, May 31, 07 @ 4:41 pm:

    Anon 2:54

    Yes, everyone does have access. They don’t have to live in Cook County. They don’t have to be US citizens. They don’t have to be indigent. Everyone.

    There are waiting lists everywhere except for the very wealthy. And while examples don’t prove the rule, I can personally speak of a middle class friend who got a heart bypass with minimal waiting at County–he had lost his job and did not elect Cobra. Even though he has significant assets, he was never charged for the procedure.
    The care was excellent.

    I’m not suggesting that Daley is thinking about CCH when he decides to put universal health care on the back burner. He is right about the possibility of the feds taking it over eventually.
    My point is that he is not dealing with an electorate which is clamoring for health insurance. Effectively, they already have it, if they want it.I believe the average uninsured Chicagoan is a young white male–a population which believes it is immortal.

  28. - Captain America - Thursday, May 31, 07 @ 6:00 pm:

    DOWNSTATERS TAKE NOTE; THE SALES TAX INCREASE TO FUND MASS TRANSIT DOES NOT AFFECT YOU. The sales tax increase affects only the metropolitan Chicago area (city and suburbs).Rich has confirmed this in repsonse to my question posed in the Holbrrok House Budget Hold posting.

  29. - Deep Water - Thursday, May 31, 07 @ 8:04 pm:

    If we fund education to the max, someone will invent flying carpets. Than we will not need the C.T.A.

  30. - lincolnlandbubba - Thursday, May 31, 07 @ 10:55 pm:

    The last full budget I saw posted, had the CTA collecting an actuall 88 cents per ride on average. now that even Micky D charges over a buck for a cup of Joe why doesn’t CTA try charging MONEY for the service it provides? and save the whineing about some folks not being able to afford an increase, charge different folks different rates, peak load pricing, vouchers, what ever. no two people on a airplane pay the same fare & lord knows no one expects CTA to fly; just roll the jam packed poorly airconditioned cars down the track alittle bit faster than the grid locked traffic and the new guy will make the old guy look as bad as he was.
    Mayor D. this ball is in your court don’t blame G-Rod. He isn’t demanding your help for the new trains downstate.

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