The 21st Show

Capping The Cost Of Insulin; Hate Incidents At The U of I; Election Security; Chicago Red Stars Reach Finals


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State Sen. Andy Manar has introduced a bill that would make Illinois the second state to cap co-payments for insulin at $100 a month. Plus, how the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is dealing with swastikas were found on campus in recent weeks—and how that response is being received by those who were targeted. We also get an update on what the state needs to improve the security of our election system, and preview the Chicago Red Stars' bid for a National Women's Soccer league title.

Capping Insulin Costs

When insulin was first discovered back in 1923, the inventors sold the patent to the University of Toronto for $1 because they wanted to make sure patients could afford it.

Nearly a hundred years later, that life-saving drug can be incredibly expensive, at least for Americans. In 2016, the average price was $450 a month, according to the Health Care Cost Institute.

Some insurance companies have launched more affordable monthly plans in part because of public pressure. But states are hoping to take action as well. State Senator Andy Manar introduced a bill that would cap insulin co-payments in Illinois at $100 a month.

The only other state with a law like this is Colorado. We started with Emily McFly. She lives just outside Denver, and before that, she lived in Urbana, Ill.

We also spoke with State Senator Andy Manar, a Democrat from Bunker Hill. He represents Illinois’ 48th Senate district.

Hate Incidents At U of I

Across the country, reported acts of hate and discrimination on college campuses have multiplied in recent years. This rise is a familiar topic we’ve talked about on the show before. 313 cases of white supremacist propaganda were documented on college campuses during the last school year, compared to 165 incidents just two years earlier, according to the Anti-Defamation League. 

Earlier this month, Chancellor Robert Jones of the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign sent an email notifying students about a swastika drawn in a campus building. There have been four of Nazi symbols found on the Urbana campus over the past two weeks.  

Illinois Public Media’s Lee Gaines has been following this story at the U of I, and the increase in reported bias incidents at the state’s flagship campus more broadly.

Rabbi Ari Naveh is a seniorJjewish educator at the Cohen Center for Jewish life at the U of I.

Richard Baker is the president of the American Association for Access Equity and Diversity, and is the executive director for institutional equity at Rice University. He has both a PhD in higher education and a law degree. His organization represents university employees across the country who are often on the front lines of cases like these.

Election Security

During the 2016 election, Russian hackers accessed personal information involving more than 70,000 voters here in Illinois. That information included names, addresses, partial Social Security numbers, birthdays and driver’s license numbers.

Last week, lawmakers heard from state and local officials here in Illinois during a U.S. House Homeland Security Committee hearing. And, with the Illinois primary five months away, election officials in our state are ramping up security efforts. But, those improvements come with a multi-million dollar price tag. And, the funding from the federal government might not be enough. 

Matt Dietrich is a spokesman with the Illinois State Board of Elections.

Chicago Red Stars Reach Finals

The Chicago Red Stars beat the Portland Thorns 1-0 — thanks to a goal by Sam Kerr — and advanced to the championship game. That game airs this Sunday at 2:30 p.m. CT. 

Since the league’s first season in 2013, four teams have won the National Women’s Soccer League championship. The Chicago Red Stars are not among them.

But soon they’ll get their chance against the defending champion North Carolina Courage.

Sandra Herrera is a soccer writer and the co-host of Southside Trap, a Chicago Red Stars podcast.

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