I have been tracking different causes on Change.org and I am happy to see Legalize the Medicinal and Recreational Use of Marijuana holding strong as the top vote getter while End The War on Drugs coming in at a close second. Thanks to anyone out there who voted for either, and a special shout out to Dan Nimlos who told me last night he gave it a vote! Regardless if the Obama Administration is going to actually listen to the people and add this to their policy, it is important to force government to address this issue and not shrug it off as unimportant.
For the Record, this is what they say Ideas for Change in America is:
Ideas for Change in America is a nationwide competition to identify the best ideas for change in America. The top 10 ideas will be presented to the Obama administration just before inauguration day and form the basis of a nationwide advocacy campaign to turn each idea into actual policy
They use clever wording, as they say, "form the basis of a nationwide advocacy campaign" and therefore will have an excuse to not turn it into actual policy. Of course the liberal ideas, such as the third highest vote getter, will surely be turned into actual policy:
Free Single Payer Health Care
"Health Care is a fundamental human right. No one should have sell their house to pay for their mother's cancer. No one should have to choose between food and medicine.
Free basic health care for all!
1) Its the most efficient approach
2) It works. Why do places such as Cuba and Costa Rica have such good healthcare systems when they spend so little on healthcare?
3) It will solve insurance problems and peopl'e being left without insurance (obama's approach won't get everyone covered).
4) For our childrenHR 676 Bill is one way of achieving this but not the only way.
(NOTE: Free obviously means paid for through some kind of tax, preferribly on the wealthy)"
Now, I will never pretend to have ALL the solutions for our country. I do not, nor have I read and educated myself enough to have solutions to every problem. Health Care is one of those things that has become so 'messed up' that I really do not know where to start. B.J. Lawson believes that the problem has to do with linking health insurance to employment, while Ron Paul has many viewpoints on this issue that are well documented here.
Just a couple that I found most profound:
"The most obvious way to break this cycle is to get the government out of the business of meddling in health care, which was far more affordable and accessible before government got involved. Short of that, and more politically feasible in the immediate run, is to allow consumers and their doctors to pull themselves out of the system through medical savings accounts."
Source: The Revolution: A Manifesto, by Ron Paul, p. 89 Apr 1, 2008
"You don’t have to throw anybody out in the street, but long term you have move toward the marketplace. You cannot expect socialized medicine of the Hillary brand to work. And you can’t expect the managed care system that we have today [to work, because it] promotes and rewards the corporations. It’s the drug companies & the HMOs & even the AMA that lobbies us for this managed care, and that’s why the prices are high. It’s only in medicine that technology has raised prices rather than lowering prices."
Source: 2007 GOP primary debate in Orlando, Florida Oct 21, 2007
What I find most amazing/unbelievable about this cause is that they define free as paid through some kind of tax, preferably the wealthy. Amazing! Government was not meant to rob one individual of his wealth and transfer it to another. In my opinion, if there was a (low) flat tax rate, we would see people donating more money to worthy causes such as healthcare for those who cannot afford it. In fact, lower taxes would contribute to helping this problem in a number of ways: there would be more jobs, income will grow (on all levels, just as it did as a result of Reagan's tax cuts), and prosperity will abound.
The more the government gets involved in something, the worse situations become. I won't be so naive to say that there will one day be a system where everyone can afford all their own healthcare. I think there will always be impoverished individuals who do not have health insurance, who will then need some major surgical operation. By all means, we should treat these people. But for us to afford to do that, there needs to be major cuts across the board in government. We simply cannot be injecting trillions into the economy on top of a $2.5 plus trillion budget and expect to add universal healthcare on top of that. Taxing the rich will just slow the economy and lower the gross tax revenue brought in, which actually goes against what the liberals want.
Even if we did move in the correct direction of getting the government out of healthcare, it would be a long and painful process before we get to affordable healthcare with government aid to the most needy. But sadly, we are most likely moving in the opposite direction which is going to make the situation worse and the process towards a 'better' (i.e. affordable, workable) system prolonged.