"Our sick and injured deserve a healthcare system that guarantees they will be cared for not just because they are wealthy enough to afford it, but because they are Illinoisans and in Illinois, we take care of each other."
This problem developed over decades and it has to be solved over decades. There is no quick fix. We must start by working with children. Research shows that when we increase the standards of nutrition in schools, we see a corresponding improvement in behavior and academic achievement alongside other health improvements. We must grow our county’s investment in health education so that our children can navigate an increasingly confusing world of diet advice.
Read Ben's ideas: "It's Time to Talk About Obesity" - December 2017
Drug addiction is an illness, not a crime, and it should be treated as such by our legal system. Our public health departments need to have the freedom and the resources to run successful needle-exchange programs and to distribute overdose antidotes such as Narcan that will dampen the damage caused by this epidemic. Moving forward, we must ensure that education on the dangers of these substances is easily found and that people feel safe asking for help when they need it.
Access to Care
Healthcare must be accessible. Unfortunately, rural areas are being left behind in the fight for improved healthcare. These areas are difficult to reach, resource intensive, and are often suffering from poverty. However, these factors make it all the more important that we provide accessible care when it is needed. Whether it is the opioid epidemic or the need for food stamps, our county must ensure that care can be provided in a way that works for all members of all communities.