Healthcare reform initiatives
We’d say that making fun of our impeached former governor was like shooting fish in a barrel, but that’s actually difficult by comparison. So we won’t dwell on the pathetic shambles that His Hairness left our top state office in. But let’s not forget that we elected that guy as governor—twice. There must have been some redeeming features? And there were, namely, a consistent track record on progressive issues, from education funding to anti-discrimination laws for gays and lesbians. But perhaps most resonant in these times was his effort to implement universal healthcare in Illinois, first through AllKids, which made Illinois the first state in the nation to offer affordable, comprehensive health insurance for every child. He then unsuccessfully tried to pass a universal healthcare plan, Illinois Covered, as well as FamilyCare, which offered coverage to low- and middle-income families. He was attacked for the perceived ambiguous funding of such endeavors, as well as his heavy-handed and grandstanding tactics. But it’s hard to deny that, with America on the verge of finally joining the civilized world on the healthcare front, that our ex-governor was a step ahead of his time.
Free transit rides for senior citizens
Best audience comments:
“Commitment to early childhood education programs”; “Appearing on stage as himself in his own Second City parody musical”; “Open Road Tolling expansion”; “Making Sarah Palin look like a competent person. That really is an accomplishment”; “Singing that Elvis song with the Fabio impersonator.”
Best of Chicago 2009