ROCK ISLAND — Health care was among the topics covered by the assistant Democratic House leader,Rep. James E. Clyburn, D-SC, at an appearance Wednesday morning on behalf of congressional candidate Cheri Bustos.
Mr. Clyburn joined his hosts, the Augustana College Democrats, in urging support for Ms. Bustos, who is challenging Rep. Bobby Schilling, R-Colona, for the 17th District seat in Congress. She said the race will come down to what each candidate stands for.
Rep. Clyburn spoke supportively of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. He said he watched his mother die of cancer. "It not only took her life away but all of her savings," he said.
When his wife had bypass surgery five years ago, she took aspirin to the hospital, knowing what the hospital would charge. Rep. Clyburn said his wife knew medical costs are shifted -- those who have insurance pay for those who don't have insurance, he said.
"So when you make (health care) universal and bring people into the system, it means everybody gets a better existence when it comes to health care and health care delivery," Rep. Clyburn said.
While the Affordable Care Act does not include everything, it is a necessary first step, he said, and will be revisited time and time again.
Rep. Clyburn said if Mitt Romney is elected, he expects the new president to eliminate the Affordable Care Act. "He will sit down on day one and sign an executive order to eliminate Obamacare," Rep. Clyburn said.
"It can be done," he added.
Rep. Clyburn said equal rights face the biggest threat going forward, and said while some people focus on the pro-life/pro-choice debate, he sees the issue as equal pay for equal work. Recent female college graduates still are paid less then men doing the same work, he said.
April Thompson, Moline, asked Rep. Clyburn how anything will get done if Democrats do not take back the House.
Rep. Clyburn said he believes there will be progress if the President is re-elected. Congress is reorganized at the beginning of every new session. He said if the House remains in the hands of Republicans and the Senate remains in the hands of Democrats, the Senate will bring new bills forward.
"There is no way the leadership in the House will keep their fingers in the dike to keep these bills from passing," he said. "I foresee things getting better. We will be OK," he said.
Today is Monday, April 21, the 111th day of 2014. There are 254 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: The female sex seems to have gone crazy on the subject of dry goods. When high prices keep them from increasing their wardrobes, they turn to stealing. Yard goods, hats, shoes and other items are being picked up and carried home. 1889 -- 125 years ago: Members of Everts Commandery No. 18, Knights Templar, under Commander H.C. Cleaveland, marched from the Masonic Temple to Trinity Episcopal Church for their annual Easter services. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Nate Hultgren pitched the Augustana College baseball team to a 10-3 victory over Carthage, striking out 11 men and allowing only four hits. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Marvel Leonhardi, a Rock Island High School senior, was the winner of an essay contest on advertising sponsored by The Argus and Advertising Age, a national advertising publication. 1964 -- 50 years ago: The Augustana College band drew a crowd of 1,200 people for its annual home concert in Centennial Hall. The size of the crowd was indicative of the fact the band is rapidly approaching the stature of the Augustana Choir. 1989 -- 25 years ago: A benefit to raise money for extracurricular activities in the Rock Island Milan School District will be April 27 at the Quad City Downs harness race track. People buying $17.50 tickets to the second annual "Night at the Quad City Downs" will be entitled to an evening of harness racing and dinner.