Arlington Heights Daily Herald. September 14, 2022.
Editorial: Hopefully, federal ruling won’t be courts’ last word on insurance for HIV preventive medication
In 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Hobby Lobby and other companies can refuse to cover oral contraception because of the owners’ religious objections to the pill.
Now, a federal judge has ruled a Texas company can refuse to cover HIV preventive medication because of the owners’ religious objections to potential patients.
The owners of Braidwood Management claims the pills, which are 99% effective in blocking the spread of HIV through sex, encourage homosexuality.
If you’ve ever taken a health class, you know that HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, can be spread by means other than gay sex.
Straight people can get it through sex, too. (Yes, even if they’re married.)
Drug users can get it through shared needles.
Mothers can transmit the virus to their babies during pregnancy, delivery or breastfeeding.
And anyone who receives a transfusion of tainted blood can be infected.
In June, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed legislation that allows approved pharmacists to administer or dispense HIV PrEP. Only one Republican, Sen. Jason Barickman of Bloomington, voted in favor of the measure, which will take effect on Jan. 1.
“The proposed solution is much better than the status quo that exists today,” Barickman said when the bill advanced from the General Assembly in April.
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services estimates 1.2 million people in the U.S. have HIV -- and 13% of them don’t know it. There are about 45,000 people living with the virus in Illinois, according to the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, with about 1,300 diagnosed each year.
HIV PrEP benefits everyone, not just gay people, by containing a life-threatening disease that has no cure. Objecting to its use is unconscionable.
Think of where this road could lead if the judge’s ruling stands.
Could your employer refuse to cover hospitalization for lung transplant patients because some of them might be lifelong smokers?
Could someone who views having a beer as a sin object to tests for cirrhosis?
Individuals are allowed religious exemptions on vaccines for themselves and their children, but what if your boss could balk at covering vaccines for your kids?
It is mystifying that the federal judge did not address such far-reaching impacts of his ruling, but the bottom line should be this: You don’t provide health coverage because people are worthy. You provide health coverage because people get sick.
We trust the courts will recognize this basic truth as the case moves through the appellate process.
Champaign News-Gazette. September 16, 2022.
Editorial: Governor doesn’t think Texas border game is funny
Govs. J.B. Pritzker of Illinois and Greg Abbott of Texas are, for good reason, at serious odds.
Don’t mess with Texas, so the saying goes. But what happens when Texas messes with Illinois, New York and Washington, D.C.?
Well, for starters, Gov. J.B. Pritzker doesn’t like it one bit. But that was the point. At least it sure appears that way.
For nearly two years now, immigrants entering the country illegally through the Texas border have been pouring into the United States courtesy of President Joe Biden’s unofficial open-borders policy.
The influx of people has been a huge problem for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who objects not only to the open-borders policy but also to Texas getting stuck with the lion’s share of responsibility for a huge number of people. Estimates put the number at around 2 million.
It was probably just a matter of time before Abbott adopted his attention-getting policy of transporting the border-crossers to other locales around the U.S.
It’s a funny thing about the shoe being on the other foot. Those who don’t care much about someone else’s ill-fitting shoe suddenly care a lot when it’s their dogs that are yapping.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams became so angry about illegal immigrants being shipped to New York that he vowed to travel to Texas to campaign against Abbott.
Washington, D.C., leaders aren’t happy about their new duties as hosts, and Pritzker is engaged and accusatory.
“They are trying to sow chaos around the country, not just here in Chicago,” Pritzker said.
Pritzker’s got that right. Abbott is trying to sow a bit of chaos, and for a very specific reason.
“Governor Pritzker should contact the person who created this border crisis to step up and do his job — President Biden,” an Abbott spokesman said.
The spokesman has a point. If Biden won’t listen to the Republican governors of Texas and Arizona about this problem, maybe he’ll listen to the Democratic governor of Illinois and the Democratic mayor of New York.
Then again, maybe not. This is no accident. Biden’s open-border policy is operating exactly as intended, perhaps the only problem being that it’s drawing more people than expected.
The huge numbers should be no surprise. Millions of people all over the world want to come to the U.S., and many of them are not concerned whether they gain entry in a lawful or unlawful manner. They just want to be here.
These desperate people will keep coming until the powers that be stem the illegal flow, assuming they want to.
So look forward to more complaints from the likes of Pritzker, who complained that he had no advance warning of the arrivals from Texas and then angered Elk Grove Village’s mayor by shipping a bus full of them there with no advance warning.