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Hinz tries, tries and tries again to get an answer out of the administration

Thursday, Jun 29, 2017

* Greg Hinz points to a New York Times piece entitled “How Governors From Both Parties Plotted to Derail the Senate Health Bill” as the basis for his latest attempt to get Gov. Rauner’s office to talk about the national healthcare debate. Hinz lays out the Raunerite push-back

Now, the Rauner people don’t like me writing about this issue, as I have a few times now.

Illinois’ two U.S. senators, Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, have pretty much made up their minds and won’t move much even if Rauner talks to them, the governor’s people say.

And, they add, some other GOP governors who are outspoken are lame ducks and don’t have to manage the calculus of keeping the GOP base intact, as Rauner will have to do in his race for a new term next year.

And as one ranking Raunerite argued in an exchange today, the governor has his hands full right now in Springfield battling House Speaker Michael Madigan and other intransigent Democrats to finally bring a dose of desperately needed reform and structural change to Illinois.

I get all of that. But most of those excuses are lame or wrong—or both.

Ouch. Click here to read why he thinks their excuses are lame and/or wrong.

* I would only add that the governor has not taken any public role in the overtime session negotiations and yet still managed to squeeze in the time to leave town today for this event

WHERE’S RAUNER? In Chicago, taking part in a round table to discuss trade and commerce opportunities between China and the Midwest.

I don’t blame him for going to Chicago for that highly important event. I’m just saying he ought to be able to find time to at the very least answer a question about something that could totally blow up this state’s budget and very probably harm many of the state’s hospitals.

…Adding... From the governor’s office…

He’s not going to Chicago. He’s attending via video conference from Springfield.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

36 Comments
  1. - Blue Bayou - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 10:08 am:

    “…at the very least answer a question about something that could totally blow up this state’s budget and very probably harm many of the state’s hospitals.”

    Yes, Rich, it’s called GOVERNING.

    It’s not a campaign, or a political fight with MJM, or a photo opp. It’s the hard work of making sure the people of the state (all the people) do not suffer from bad decisions and die. That should be the bare minimum.

    He can’t break out of continuous campaigning, because, like Trump, he doesn’t know, or doesn’t care, about what comes next.


  2. - Annonin' - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 10:09 am:

    Just for laughs can anyone in CaptFaxWorld HQ offer a little detail on why this junket in SPI is “highly important” We could find no real evidence that it is just a dog and pony show


  3. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 10:18 am:

    ===We could find no real evidence that it is just a dog and pony show ===

    OK, fine. Whatever. He’s not actually negotiating so it doesn’t really matter.


  4. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 10:18 am:

    ===And, they add, some other GOP governors who are outspoken are lame ducks and don’t have to manage the calculus of keeping the GOP base intact, as Rauner will have to do in his race for a new term next year.===

    The Campaigner in Chief really ought to get in the game on this. Medicaid represents a huge part of the state’s budget. Doesn’t he think he owes the people of Illinois, especially those who rely on Medicaid or the ACA for coverage?

    I’d argue his first duty is to the people of Illinois, not to his so-called political base. He isn’t Governor of the Republicans, he’s Governor of Illinois. It’s time he acted like it.


  5. - Free Set of Steak Knives - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 10:19 am:

    Maybe I am wrong, but I think Hinz is only the second reporter to use the term “Raunerite.”


  6. - Arsenal - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 10:22 am:

    I mean, all the reasons for ducking the issue amount to, “It’d create political problems for him.”

    But so is silence!


  7. - tobor - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 10:24 am:

    He does not care about the hospitals. He does not want a budget.


  8. - JoanP - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 10:24 am:

    @47th Ward: “Doesn’t he think he owes the people of Illinois, especially those who rely on Medicaid or the ACA for coverage?”

    Rauner, by his actions over the last two years, has made it crystal clear that he doesn’t think he owes the people of Illinois anything, especially those who need Medicaid and the ACA, and other government services.


  9. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 10:26 am:

    Blow up the budget, most definitely harm hospitals and end health coverage for 600K Illinoisans.

    On the bright side, Rauner, Griff, Uiehlein and the other 1%s would get a sweet tax cut, which is the only purpose of the legislation.

    Fact is, Rauner is scared to death of Trump, can’t even say his name.

    Rauner’s Downstate base likes Trump, but he’s anathema to the Suburban Women who are the statewide margin of victory. They’re why Trump got clobbered in the suburbs.


  10. - Thursfun - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 10:26 am:

    ==- Rich Miller - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 10:18 am:

    ===We could find no real evidence that it is just a dog and pony show ===

    OK, fine. Whatever. He’s not actually negotiating so it doesn’t really matter. ==

    Doesn’t it, though? He’s the Governor. He called the special sessions. He should be in Springfield. He should be negotiating.


  11. - Chicago Cynic - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 10:30 am:

    Blue Bayou,

    This isn’t an academic or political question. The GOP proposals will have huge consequences for state and local budgets as well as the hundreds of thousands of people in our state that rely on those services. So yea, weighing in on this is governing.

    This is part of his job. That’s why so many of his colleagues have done so. His refusal to do so is simply a political calculation.


  12. - Perrid - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 10:37 am:

    A lot of the GOP governors are not necessarily opposed to all of the cuts, they just want more structure - “flexibility” instead of just a cut to Medicaid, which is what the per capita funding change is. Here’s a letter 4 GOP guvs sent to Congressional leaders before the House bill passed. You have to know a little about how the program works to understand most of the ask, but basically they want the Feds to let the States cut more services if they are going to cut funding. There’s other stuff included as well, but that’s my take away. So the GOP guvs are not opposed to cuts, they just don’t want Congress to dump the problem on the States. So I’m not sure what Rauner could do to make it much better… http://www.healthtransformation.ohio.gov/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=S_gEqkALBFY%3D&tabid=160


  13. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 10:39 am:

    ===He’s attending via video conference from Springfield.===

    In fact, right now, he is standing alone in the darkened shadows of an empty Old State Capitol, rocking on his heels, waiting for his cue.


  14. - @MisterJayEm - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 10:43 am:

    Was that headline a deliberate Billy Joe Shaver reference, Rich?

    – MrJM


  15. - Winnin' - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 10:44 am:

    “You know what? We’ll get to it as soon as we can find a way to blame Madigan. Ha ha ha.”


  16. - BIG R. Ph. - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 11:04 am:

    Perhaps the Governor realizes that the current path of paying for Medicaid is unsustainable and is making this State (along with others) go broke.
    Stay silent, Run Deep


  17. - Norseman - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 11:07 am:

    Rauner isn’t about governing. He’s about buying himself into a position to impose his solutions on things he hates about government or government policies.


  18. - Ahem! - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 11:08 am:

    Which sort of begs the question as to why J. B. Pritzker is pushing so hard to make an issue of Rauner not speaking out against the proposed health care bill. It is already opposed by Duckworth and Durbin, so what difference does Rauner’s input make on the Senate vote.

    From the Chicago Reader’s Ben Jorvarsky:

    “As for Pritzker, he was nowhere to be found in any of the critical political fights of this decade. In fact, it’s not even clear how much of a Democrat he really is.”


  19. - Blue Bayou - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 11:08 am:

    Hey BIG R. Ph., how about some evidence?


  20. - Perrid - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 11:12 am:

    BIG R. Ph., the current bill doesn’t do a lot to help the state. Trump has “promised” - and we all know what he word is worth - that HHS will relax regulations on states, but there hasn’t been anything concrete. As written, this bill saves the FEDERAL government money, and tells the States “I’ve got mine Jack, you’re on your own!” Now it is implied that the States will be allowed to tell poor people the same thing, but that isn’t concrete yet. If nothing materializes, or if the GA refuses to throw people out on the street metaphorically speaking, IL is on the hook for the extra cost. The Governor should be fighting that.


  21. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 11:12 am:

    ===”In fact, it’s not even clear how much of a Democrat he really is.”

    Ben Joravsky? Isn’t he the 49th Ward Committeeman? Oh, wait, he’s the Northside DFA coordinator, right? Joravsky? That sounds familiar, I’m sure I’ve met him going door-to-door for Democrats. I am almost positive he shows up for the fundraisers that get Democrats elected, doesn’t he?

    It’s not clear that Ben Joravsky has any idea of who is or who is not a Democrat.


  22. - Arsenal - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 11:17 am:

    ==Which sort of begs the question as to why J. B. Pritzker is pushing so hard to make an issue of Rauner not speaking out against the proposed health care bill.==

    Because Pritzker is trying to beat Rauner in an election and this is a good issue to hit him on.

    Also, the Durbin/Duckworth thing is a red herring. House members are gonna have to vote again.


  23. - Muni Guy - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 11:21 am:

    Wow, I’m really surprised he was not able to get the Governor to answer a gotcha question in the midst of this budget debacle. What a surprise.


  24. - Ahem - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 11:27 am:

    @47th Ward:

    Until this January (2017), I had not seen or heard a single word about Pritzker’s political ambitions since Schakowsky pasted him in the 9th Congressional Democratic Primary. Apart from writing checks (he was big on Blagojevich), he has been largely AWOL.


  25. - Curl of the Burl - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 11:27 am:

    Blue - to be honest the evidence is there. Medicaid spending - at least proposed spending for FY2018 is about $14 billion and total (proposed) spending for overall medical assistance programs is $21+ billion. I am not pulling those numbers out of my rear. Here is the summary from HFS itself: https://www.illinois.gov/hfs/SiteCollectionDocuments/FY2018BUDGETBRIEFING02-15-17.pdf.

    This is a worthy discussion to have. $14 billion is not chump change, and the totality of $21+ billion is about a third of our total overall budget.


  26. - @MisterJayEm - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 11:28 am:

    “a gotcha question”

    A reminder that many of Rauner’s supporters think even less of the man than his opponents do.

    – MrJM


  27. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 11:41 am:

    ===he has been largely AWOL.===

    Just because you haven’t seen him doesn’t mean he’s been AWOL.

    I remember him going door-to-door for my candidate in 1992. I remember him founding Democratic Leadership for the 21st Century to groom a new generation of leaders and the alumni of that group are pretty impressive.

    J.B. has gotten his hands dirty in the precincts, working the vinyard like the rest of us. If you don’t know that, that’s OK, it just means you weren’t there. But it doesn’t mean you’re right.


  28. - Nick Name - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 11:47 am:

    This is what is really maddening about Rauner, why I don’t like him and why he is a bad and even dangerous governor: that he is so aloof from nuts-and-bolts policy that falls outside his narrative. His constant refusal to stake out a position and own it is simply astonishing.

    So we have a major piece of federal legislation that will (not could – will) have far reaching consequences for the state that Rauner governs, on both individuals and on big businesses that employ thousands of people. Rauner can:

    - say it’s bad for our state and oppose it

    - say it is good and try and make a case for it

    - say it’s bad, but that we should support it – and make a case for that.

    And so on. Liberal, conservative, moderate: this is what normal governors do. Rauner? He ignores it entirely. Won’t talk about it; won’t answer questions on it. He runs and hides from the subject. He instead (with help from a mostly compliant media) redirects the conversation back to his agenda: enact my reforms; blame Madigan. It’s unreal.

    Kudos to Greg Hinz bringing it to light.


  29. - Blue dog dem - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 11:59 am:

    I found the answer to a question i asked earlier this week. Illinois will be on the hook for an additional 5% of medicaid expansion. Roll back medicaid NOW. We will be going from 5% income tax to 7% income tax in 3 years and still not pay down pension debt. There is no end to the madness.


  30. - illinoised - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 12:00 pm:

    =Was that headline a deliberate Billy Joe Shaver reference, Rich?=

    I know Billy Joe Shaver, I’ll tell ‘em he has another fan here. I’m his every-once-in-a-while merch man when he comes to the Midwest. I’ve worked two Springfield shows but the most fun is at Fitzgerald’s in Berwyn. I brought my wife along when when I worked a Champaign show and then a couple of shows in Cleveland in 2007. Billy had just shot a man in the face in Lorena, TX. My wife was a little hesitant to meet him but I convinced her he doesn’t shoot his friends.


  31. - Joe Bidenopolous - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 12:17 pm:

    Arsenal nails it - Durbin/Duckworth argument is a red herring. For anything to happen, the house has to vote again, and there are a few R’s (Kinzinger, Davis) who could be swayed by their R Governor making a statement, whatever it is.

    I’d add that health care comprises more than one-sixth of the economy, and the BHRA/AHCA would have devastating consequences on that sector. It could cause a recession. The ACA gave health care to tens of millions of people as well as acting as a stimulus for the industry as a whole.


  32. - Joe Bidenopolous - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 12:21 pm:

    Adding…I’ll say it again. If GovGaslight doesn’t differentiate then it will be incredibly easy to hang POTUS around his neck. As far as I’m concerned, his silence means he supports Republican attempts to gut health care for millions, including the 1 million in Illinois who gained coverage through the expansion and the exchange. And remember, the expansion population is 18-64 year old adults, i.e., of voting age, and nearly half of them have jobs to boot.

    Also, Blue dog - you need to take the “dem” off your nick because your comments consistently show you aren’t one.


  33. - Blue dog dem - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 1:03 pm:

    JoeB. I used to be a die hard partisan Dem. I grew up, saw the light and realized no party represents the working poor and middle classes. Just a bunch of demagogues that make empty promises at election time. Making promises you cant keep,like Illinois has done. And buying votes with med expansion put the financial responsibility squarely on the shoulders of the working poor and middle classes. If you’re a Dem, is this what you want?


  34. - NationalHealthcare=TaxCut - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 3:12 pm:

    Gov. Rauner will not talk about the national healthcare debate. Why?
    Since Rauner is in the 1% bracket, he will personally benefit from the Senate’s healthcare bill by getting a big tax cut.


  35. - @MisterJayEm - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 5:59 pm:

    “I know Billy Joe Shaver, I’ll tell ‘em he has another fan here.”

    I love Shaver! I’ve seen him many times at Fitzgerald’s — e.g. https://tinyurl.com/ShaverAtFitzgeralds — and he never, ever disappoints.

    “Billy had just shot a man in the face in Lorena, TX.”

    If Billy Joe shot a dude, then dude needed shootin’.

    – MrJM


  36. - Sour Kraut - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 7:25 pm:

    Rich Miller - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 10:18 am:

    ===We could find no real evidence that it is just a dog and pony show ===

    OK, fine. Whatever. He’s not actually negotiating so it doesn’t really matter.

    He’s not governin’ ……… he’s ruinin’.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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