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Senator Richard J. Durban addresses the City Club of Chicago


The Honorable Richard J. Durbin, Senator, State of Illinois spoke today at the City Club of Chicago. Mr. Jay D. Doherty, President of the City Club of Chicago introduced the senator to a packed audience at Maggiano’s Restaurant on Grand Avenue downtown Chicago. Tables were set up in the bar and reception area to help accommodate the over flow of attendees.

The overflow was for good reason, we were able to hear first hand from the senator the status of many of the current and pressing issues happening in Washington that affect both Illinois and Chicago.

Mr. Durbin started out by thanking the City Club for having him and commending the club for all the fine work that it has done to stimulate growth and progress in Chicago and Illinois. He went on to say that you “don’t have to go to Chicago to see many Chicagoans because there are so many in Washington”. He was commenting of course on the cabinet members Hilary Clinton, Rahm Emanuel, Patrick Fitzgerald, Ray LaHood, and Arnie Duncan. The focus of his talk was health care but did say a few words on safety, and education. According to Mr. Durbin a major concern is the taxing of heath benefits, there are many issue arising concerning the taxing of health care benefits that can only lead to more costs in the long run. Mr. Durbin himself said that if he had his say on the status of taxing these benefits that he would vote it down. He fears that too many other negative results would come out of such legislation.

It is clear that something has to be done about the 48 million people that are currently on the streets without any medical coverage. We are being taxed $1,000.00 per family in this country in premium rates to current policyholders to cover the gap. He cited two regions in Texas that had an exceeding high cost association with medical processing. One doctor flew in from Boston to see what in fact was going on there to cause such high returns, the answer was good old “bad business” and inefficient processing of claims, many items were double and triple billed!

He is no a friend of medical specialists and pharmaceutical companies promoting the use of drugs to stave off the inevitable. Mr. Durbin sited Safeway foods for their excellent program of giving financial incentives to company employees that would do exercise, work out, and follow a dietary plan, which is monitored by Safeway. The result is that in the last four years Safeway’s premiums had not gone up whereas the average premium across the country had during the same time period gone up 38%.

After this Mr. Durbin took a number of questions and did a fine job of answering them even though his time was running out. Present at the event was Joyce Saxon a member of the City Club Board of Directors, Dan Rostenkowski, and Lewis Manilow.



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