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Letters to the Editor

Legislation would provide hope for those on dialysis

(AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

I’m one of nearly 22,000 Illinoisans who depend on dialysis to stay alive. I must be connected to a machine, three times a week, for sometimes as long as eight hours.

New legislation being considered in Springfield may help me disconnect from dialysis.

And, more importantly, help me reconnect to my life as a father, neighbor and accounting professional.

SEND LETTERS TO: letters@suntimes.com. Please include your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes.

As someone who is desperately waiting for a kidney after three failed transplants, I know my best chance for a long-lasting kidney transplant is a living donor. On average, a living kidney donor transplant lasts 15 to 20 years, while a deceased donor kidney lasts only 10 to 15 years.

Join me and the other American Kidney Fund Ambassadors going to Springfield on Thursday, World Kidney Day, to support the passage of two pieces of legislation that will remove barriers and encourage living donation.

Passage of House Bill 2847, introduced by state Rep. Deb Conroy, will prohibit life, disability and long-term care insurers from discriminating against living organ donors by charging higher premiums or refusing to insure them altogether. It will also require employers to provide up to 60 business days of unpaid organ donation leave.

The passage of Senate Bill 68, introduced by state Sen. Julie Morrison, will give a tax credit to private employers for allowing employees 30 days of paid leave for organ donation. Together these two bills will help increase the number of living donors.

I urge you: Ask your state representatives to pass living organ donation legislation.

Richard T. Nelson, Schaumburg

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Helpful programs

I am writing about the article about CPS inspector general uncovering evidence that many CPS and City of Chicago employees skipped out on or cheated by not paying for pre-K programs for their own children. Obviously, it is wrong and, possibly a criminal violation, to avoid paying tuition.

However, the bigger question is why should parents have to pay for public school pre-K programs? Nobody likes paying more taxes, but, these programs are very helpful. If more children were taking pre-K programs, they would learn socialization skills in addition to academics. Their parents would have more flexibility to pursue education an/or work.

George Pfeifer, Evanston

Unrealistic proposals

I am a lifelong liberal Democrat, but I am not thrilled by Bernie Sander’s announcement that he is again running for president in 2020. His intentions are sincere, but his proposals seem unrealistic. He makes too many campaign promises based on circumstances in other western European democracies that are very different from our own.

Making campaign promises that he or his party could never deliver is no different from promising a wall that Mexico would pay for. For example, he claims the U.S. government should pay for free state college tuition for all, and he uses Denmark as an example to follow. Denmark does have a wonderful educational system, and the government does pay tuition and a monthly stipend for living expenses. However, their whole educational system is very different from ours. Denmark has only five four-year universities that serve about 38,000 undergraduates. In our state of Illinois we have 12 state universities and close to 34,000 undergraduates at Champaign-Urbana alone. With these numbers, how could the federal government provide free tuition to undergraduates in 50 states?

Let the Democratic Party stick to what it can actually deliver instead of promising unrealistic “gifts” to gullible voters. Pick a list of realistic goals: reducing student debt, supporting vocational training, providing more health services for under-served communities, reducing costs of prescriptions drugs, rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, protecting the environment, ending voter suppression, and supporting and defending our military and intelligence agencies. These items are challenging enough.

The Democratic platform must have appeal to voters of all ages in all parts of the country.  Stand for what can be truly be achieved. That is the road to a victory over our present chaotic, inept, corrupt federal administration.

Betty Kleinberg Deerfield