Another entry in the 'Why We Need Universal, Public Option Health Care NOW' file: My younger sister got a motor bike for her birthday. She rode the bike for the first time when her partner took her to dinner last week. She got distracted for a moment and crashed the bike. She broke her ankle in something like 6 places, in addition to other variously less serious injuries. The EMTs took her to the hospital where, after she told them she didn't have insurance, they told her, according to both versions I heard, either "I hope you have a lot of money because this is going to be expensive" or "How much money do you have? This is going to cost a lot." Either one, given they had a patient in considerable pain and bleeding all over the emergency room, is pretty damned callous. They seemed to be much more concerned about doing a 'wallet-ectomy' than treating her broken ankle. By the way, Younger Sister doesn't have insurance because she works for a small social service agency that can't afford to provide health insurance if it wants to stay in business and she can't afford the premiums herself even if insurance were available for her, which it isn't because she has 'pre-existing' conditions.
A recurring theme in Chicago news for the last few years has been the struggle Wal-Mart has waged to get a foot hold in Chicago. Zoning ordinances in Chicago proper have to day kept it in the suburbs. So has the objections of Aldermen to Wal-Mart's labor practices. The argument is heating up again with some Aldermen who represent minority districts faced with high unemployment pushing to allow Wal-Mart in to redevelop blighted areas and provide jobs. Perhaps they should read this item I found on MSNBC this morning. I imagine it won't change any minds. The Aldermen who have provided sound bits either want jobs now and hang the future, or they want jobs here and hang anywhere else, or both. The article makes it rather clear that jobs at Wal-mart mean a net loss of jobs both in neighboring areas and over time.