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 Wednesday, April 23, the 113th day of 2014. There are 252 days left in the year.
1864 — 150 years ago: Some persons are negotiating for 80 feet of ground on Illinois Street with a view of erecting four stores thereon. It would serve a better purpose if the money was invested in neat tenement houses. 1889 — 125 years ago: The Central station, car house and stables of the Moline-Rock Island Horse Railway line of the Holmes syndicate, together with 15 cars and 42 head of horses, were destroyed by fire. The loss was at $15,000. 1914 — 100 years ago: Vera Cruz, Mexico, after a day and night of resistance to American forces, gradually ceased opposition. The American forces took complete control of the city. 1939 — 75 years ago: Dr. R. Bruce Collins was reelected for a second term as president of the Lower Rock Island County Tuberculosis Association. 1964 — 50 years ago: Work is scheduled to begin this summer on construction of a new men's residence complex and an addition to the dining facilities at Westerlin Hall at Augustana College. 1989 — 25 years ago: Special Olympics competitors were triple winners at Rock Island High School Saturday. The participants vanquished the rain that fell during the competition, and some won their events; but most important, they triumphed over their own disabilities.