13

Oct

2017

Trump to end key ACA subsidies, a move that will threaten the law’s marketplaces

Author: Editor

President Trump is throwing a bomb into the insurance marketplaces created under the Affordable Care Act, choosing to end critical payments to health insurers that help millions of lower-income Americans afford coverage. The decision coincides with an executive order on Thursday to allow alternative health plans that skirt the law’s requirements.

The White House confirmed late Thursday that it would halt federal payments for cost-sharing reductions, although a statement did not specify when. Another statement a short time later by top officials at the Health and Human Services Department said the cutoff would be immediate. The subsidies total about $7 billion this year.

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8

Oct

2017

In a switch, GOP deserts its budget-cutting mantra

Author: Editor

The Republican Party has largely abandoned its platform of fiscal restraint, pivoting sharply in a way that could add trillions of dollars in federal debt over the next decade. 

Cutting spending to balance the budget was almost religion to the Republican Party for much of the past eight years. But all year long, despite their control of the White House and Congress, Republicans have not taken steps to balance the budget, to overhaul entitlement programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, or to arrest the growth of the country’s $20 trillion in debt.

With the House passing a critical budget resolution this past week, GOP lawmakers are charging forward next week with plans to cut taxes in a way that could add more than $1.5 trillion to the government’s debt over 10 years, with the goal of legislation by early next month. That is on top of an effort to significantly increase military spending. White House officials say their focus is on growing the economy now and dealing with the debt later.

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17

Aug

2017

Naperville woman announces primary run for Connelly Senate seat

Author: Editor

Naperville resident Laura Ellman is throwing her hat in the ring in the Illinois Senate 21st District, hoping for a chance to unseat incumbent Sen. Michael Connelly. 

Ellman will run as a Democrat in the March 2018 primary. If she wins, she could face Connelly, R-Lisle, in the November 2018 election.

Ellman has been a resident of the 21st District for years, growing up in Hanover Park and Bartlett and graduating from Elgin High School. She also lived in West Chicago and has worked in Lisle, Warrenville, Wheaton and Naperville.

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Categories: State Issues

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14

Feb

2015

A War on Workers in Illinois

Author: Editor

As one of his first official acts, the new Republican governor of Illinois, Bruce Rauner, issued an executive order this week that would weaken state unions by barring them from assessing fees on some of the workers they represent in collective bargaining. Worse, the damage from the order could reach far beyond Illinois.

At issue are so called “fair share” fees. In a unionized workplace, a union must extend collectively bargained pay raises and other benefits to nonmembers. The nonmembers — about 15 percent of unionized state employees in Illinois — do not have to pay union dues or contribute to the union’s political activities. Instead, under the law in Illinois and in many other states, they must pay the union a fair-share fee, which is less than full dues, to cover the cost of collective bargaining undertaken on their behalf.

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6

Feb

2015

The dangers of Illinois as a 'right to work' state

Author: Editor

Gov. Rauner has asked state and local lawmakers to consider adopting union-free business zones. So let’s imagine Illinois as a “right to work” state.

First a clarification. The phrase “right to work” is a misnomer that has little to do with the right of a person to seek and accept gainful employment. Anti-union proponents use “right to work” to refer to an option under federal labor law that allows workers employed by a unionized employer to receive the full benefits of a labor contract without paying for any of the cost to gain those benefits. In fact, no employee anywhere in the country has to join a union and no employer has to sign a labor agreement.

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