Dady: Universal healthcare and pay raises go hand-in-hand

September 27, 2018 GMT

OTTAWA – Universal, single-payer health care is a topic Congressional candidate Sara Dady says sparks enthusiasm from constituents.

She believes it would lead to a more competitive workforce and higher wages.

In a meeting Wednesday with the Shaw Media Editorial Board, Dady said by removing the burden from employers to cover the cost of health care, they’ll be able to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour to meet or come close to meeting inflation demands.

Dady, who faces U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Channahon, in the Nov. 6 election, has met with voters across the 16th Congressional District – which includes all of Lee, Ogle and Whiteside counties – and has found “a vast majority” of those 18 to 35 working two or three minimum-wage jobs, she said.

“You can’t live on $8.25 an hour working 40 hours a week ... when you try to support a family, you absolutely can’t do it.

“If you live in the United States and are working 40 hours a week, you should be able to afford a house, groceries, childcare and save for retirement.”

Health care and pay raises

Dady, a Rockford immigration lawyer, knows the burden employers carry.

“I realized the pay raises we were giving our employees were getting eaten up in those increased premiums,” Dady said. “So we started increasing the percentage of the premium we pay, and now we pay roughly 75 percent of health care premiums.”

That’s unsustainable, and is keeping businesses from being more competitive, she said, noting that the U.S. is the only first-world country that doesn’t have universal health care.

Single-payer Medicare for all could save $2 trillion over the next 10 years and help provide mental health and drug treatment services to those in need. It would mean more consistent resources for those who need them and reduce the costs associated with repeated offenses, Dady said.

“We pay a lot more because we keep seeing the same people with mental health issues that don’t have access to treatment and care going in and out of our county jails, and in and out of our criminal justice system, who are unable to become productive members of society, because they don’t have access to the care they need.”

Taking the burden of health care off employers will leave them with more money to raise the minimum wage to $15 without having to cut staff, she said.


Dady supports regulated, not open borders, and says the immigration system, which sets immigrants up to fail, needs to be reformed.

“When I hear people say ‘We just need to enforce the laws we have,’ well, that’s what we have been doing for the last 15 years. When you have bad laws, stepped-up enforcement doesn’t get you better results.”

Visas now are “expensive and complex,” she said, noting that agriculture visas were not issued last year until 22 days into the harvest season.

A broad legalization of the 11 million undocumented immigrants already integrated into communities, and a real worker visa program tied to market demands and issued on a timely basis, would reduce the money taxpayers are spending on civil detentions and immigration courts, and instead funnel them into the legalization process, which is funded by fees paid by immigrants, she said.

The problem lies with Republicans who obstruct reform, she said, identifying Kinzinger as one of those unwilling to join moderate Republicans in the discussion.

Many who support closed borders do so in an effort to curb the flow of drugs, but those resources would be better spent helping users curb addiction and reduce the demand, Dady said.


President Donald Trump’s tariffs have hurt local businesses and farms, not China, she said.

“I fail to see how destroying family farms is going to stop Chinese companies from stealing or engaging in U.S. technology theft and unfair practices. I’m deeply concerned about that.”

A better strategy would be to isolate China by aligning with trading allies, she said.

Gun rights

Dady supports the Second Amendment, but believes that, like with all rights, there needs to be a balance between the individual’s rights and the responsibility to keep communities safe.

She wants to ensure the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is adequately funded and reassess previous prohibitions on gun research and information.

One such prohibition keeps the government from compiling a centralized record of gun sales, which would allow fast access to information on whether an owner is convicted of a felony after acquiring a gun. Another law prohibits the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from studying gun violence.

“Congress is charged with making decisions based on good data and facts. We need that data now,” Dady said.

Town halls

Dady said she has a “broader understanding and commitment to representation” than to Kinzinger.

The two have been invited by 17 different organization to participate in candidate forums and debates, but he’s attended only one.

“When you get elected to this office, you represent all of the people in your district. Not just the people you agree with and not just the people who voted for you and not just the people who gave you money.”

She plans to hold four public town halls a year and to create constituent councils, which will bring together people of different background and political alignments, to come to a consensus on issues that directly affect them.

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica} Dady supports the Mueller probe

Congressional candidate Sara Dady supports special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, hopes it continues unimpeded and wouldn’t support any effort by Presidential Donald Trump to get in its way.

“I think it would be an impeachable offense to fire a special prosecutor who is doing exactly what he is ordered to do,” the Rockford Democrat said, adding that it’s important the investigation reaches its natural conclusion after following any and all evidence unearthed.

“There is no timetable to do that,” Dady said. “I think [Mueller] is being diligent, thorough and methodical, and that’s important.”

Interview’s online

The Shaw Editorial Board’s full interview with Sara Dady was live streamed on Facebook and visible at Kinzinger also was invited to live stream his Sept. 18 interview, but declined.

Want to know Adam Kinzinger’s thoughts on tariffs, the opioid crisis and other topics? Go to to read the story on his interview with the Shaw Media Editorial Board.

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