Gov. Pritzker signs executive order to take on sickle cell disease

Gov. Pritzker. (Photo courtesy: WJBC/File)

By Dave Dahl

SPRINGFIELD – An executive order, which the governor signed Monday, takes on sickle cell disease. It’s diagnosed at birth and expensive to treat.

The order is for the Department of Healthcare and Family Services to find ways to get this through Medicare and Medicaid.

“Sickle cell disease is an inherent blood disorder affecting more than 100,000 people across the United States,” said State Rep. Camille Lilly (D-Chicago), “and more than 5,000 here in the state of Illinois.”

The illness especially afflicts people of color – one in every 365 Blacks, mainly because of lack of access to care. And it’s staggeringly expensive, said State Sen. Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago).

“We’ve talked about tens of thousands of dollars out-of-pocket throughout a person’s lifetime,” said Hunter, “to cover hospitalizations, blood transfusions, and other long-term care.”

Dave Dahl can be reached at [email protected].


Labor Day – Expanding voting rights for all

By Mike Matejka Because of COVID, there is no Labor Day Parade this year.  It’s always a great event for our everyday workers to march proudly down the street and enjoys the festive crowd. If there had been a parade, this year’s Labor Day theme was to be “150 years of struggle: your right to vote.” …

Is federal mobilization the answer?

By Mike Matejka As President Donald Trump threatens to send federal marshals into Chicago, over the objections of Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, recall another Illinois Governor who protested the incursion of armed federal personnel into the city.   Those federal troops, rather than calming, escalated the situation, leading to deaths and violence. Illinois poet Vachel Lindsay…

In these troubled times, to my fellow white Americans

By Mike Matejka Our nation is at a unique watershed in human relations. African-Americans have been killed too many times in the past before George Floyd, but the response to this man’s death is international and all-encompassing. I was a grade-schooler during the Civil Rights 1960s. I watched Birmingham demonstrators hosed and the Selma – Montgomery…

Workers’ Memorial Day – Remember those whose job took their life

Looking around our community, when we say employer, most will respond to State Farm, Country, or Illinois State University.   We too often forget those who are building our roads, serving our food, or our public employees. COVID-19 has made us more aware of the risk.  Going to work every day for some people means…