Health care on council agenda—again

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September 26, 2009
— The Janesville City Council on Monday will take another crack at a resolution to support universal access to health care, even though the last attempt showed the divisiveness of the issue.

Yuri Rashkin, a resolution co-sponsor, said when the resolution was first discussed in August that it is meant to urge the state’s congressional delegation to support access to health care for all citizens. Although it’s a national issue, it affects everyone in Janesville, he said.

Usually, such symbolic resolutions pass quickly and with little discussion. The council routinely recognizes other council members’ interests, such as “National Police Week” or “Peace Officers Memorial Day.”

But the council debated this resolution for about 15 minutes before it was postponed to be rewritten. The new resolution will be considered at Monday’s council meeting.

Council member George Brunner agreed that accessible and affordable health care should be available. But he said the health care debate is full of facts and fiction.

“I was told that something out of Washington would be better than nothing,” he said. “I don’t know if I agree.”

Brunner said he would be more supportive if the resolution urged Congress to take time and to do it right.

Council member Frank Perrotto, too, questioned some of the statistics coming out of Washington and wondered if the estimated number of uninsured includes illegal immigrants.

The first resolution said that every person in the United State should have the right to health care of equal high quality.

“Most residents would have a problem supporting health care coverage for illegal immigrants,” Perrotto said.

Council member Tom McDonald said he co-sponsored the resolution but then ended up making several changes. He urged the other council members to do so, as well.

Brunner said he hopes the city’s representatives hear what the council is saying.

“I think we are sending a strong message … that the Janesville City Council is concerned about the status of health care and are concerned about accessible and affordable health care for the citizens of our country,” he said.

The resolution resolves that legislators “fully debate the issue of health care; and support the implementation of affordable, accessible and responsible quality health care for all legal citizens.”


The Janesville City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Monday in City Hall, 18 N. Jackson St.

Items on the agenda include:

- A motion to approve the purchase of 305 S. Pearl St., 203 Linn St., and 903 McKinley St.

- A proposed resolution supporting universal access to quality health care.

- A public hearing to change the yield signs to stop signs on the Humes Road south frontage road at the Bell Street intersection.

Residents can comment on items that do not require public hearings or on other issues that can be affected by council action at the beginning of the meeting. Residents must sign in to speak.

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