The three Democratic Congressional candidates seeking the nomination to unseat sat down with Patch last week to explain their positions on major issues facing the 10th District.
A three-part series that explores where the candidates stand on topics like social security, tax policy and education concludes Thursday with a discussion about health care and education.
Both candidates and want an expansion of the health care legislation passed by Congress two years ago.
“I’m very happy we got the health care bill passed, but we have a long way to go,” McKenzie said. “We need to reexamine the public option. It’s not a guarantee, but it will make things easier for people who need basic health care.”
touts his efforts as a community organizer with MoveOn.org on health care reform. The 25-year-old feels a personal satisfaction for playing a role in the initial bill's passage in 2009.
“The Affordable Health Care for America Act reined in some of the worst abuses of the health insurance industry,” Sheyman said.
According to Sheyman, the way to bring down health care costs while "providing quality affordable health care to every American" is by expanding Medicare to "cover everyone."
Candidate wants to address health care with a cost containment approach. The 49-year-old Deerfield resident believes creating a more competitive environment will improve the health care system.
“What was done was not perfect," Schneider said of the health care bill. "There is room for improvement in a lot of aspects,” he said.
Schneider becomes more specific when discussing education. He wants to make the next generation of Americans competitive with the rest of the world's future workforce.
Sheyman wants to invest in "proven programs" like early childhood, after-school programs and teacher training. He says a well-rounded curriculum should include the arts and professional development.
"I want every young person in the 10th District to get the same quality public education that I received," the Waukegan resident said.
McKenzie ties the quality of education for America’s youth to the ability of the country to compete with the rest of the world.
"If we want to stay competitive on an international scale we can’t be 30th best,” McKenzie said. “We have to be the best.”
Treating teachers like professionals, with better pay and accountability, is one way the Wheeling resident would improve the quality of education.
“The federal government should encourage things like continuing education. We could fund it,” McKenzie said. “We can also provide resources in the classroom.”
also sees education as the primary tool to the nation’s future.
“With education, all of our young people will grow to their full potential,” Schneider said. “Without it, we can’t sustain our competitive economy.”
Schneider points out countries like China and India outnumber America in children, which means all American children need to receive an outstanding education to keep up with the children receiving education worldwide.
“If [China or India] can educate only one-third of their young people well, they’ll educate more kids than we have,” Schneider said.
Schneider wants to keep the specifics of education programming at the local level, though he wants the federal government to set high standards. He lauds Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s Race to the Top program as a step in the right direction.
“We cannot afford not to have everyone of our kids stay competitive,” Schneider said. “If every kid sees their own individual potential fulfilled it will secure the future of the country.” .
Click to read the first part of the series that dealt with creating jobs and tackling the federal deficit or to read about Social Security and taxes.