Our system of government has become everything that we were fighting against at the dawn of our independence. This is the most important document in the history of the United States, but our government no longer adheres to its tenets. The government now considers itself to be more important than the citizens it is sworn to faithfully serve. Our politicians are meant to be public servants that are willing to sacrifice their own well-being in order to serve the greater good of the people. However, the reality is exactly the opposite as the number one priority for our government representatives is to seek only what is in their own best interests. The government seems to have forgotten that it is the right of the people to abolish any government that is abusing our inalienable rights.
Politicians on both sides of the aisle spend a majority of their time raising money to finance their reelection campaigns. The rest of the time is spent arguing with the opposing party to give the illusion that they are actually attempting to govern. There is one subject that is toxic to both parties and that is Universal Healthcare. With healthcare being 20% of our GDP, this should be the number one issue and the government should be trying to put forth long-term solutions. The Republicans want to simplify the tax code while the Democrats want the rich to pay their fair share. These two issues can be solved with universal healthcare. Whether you're rich or poor, everybody should pay 10% of their income for universal healthcare without any caps on net income. These funds would be paid into an account similar to SSI or FICA. The only argument left would be the quality of coverage that this would give to all Americans. In my opinion, that coverage should be a $500 deductible with 20 / 80 coverage for up to $10,000, and then the universal healthcare will pay for anything above. In other words, you would never pay more than $2,500 in any given year. This coverage would not cover vision or dental insurance. Insurance companies would now offer supplementary insurance to pay for that 20% (similar to AARP). This supplementary insurance would still promote competition within the market which would keep the quality of coverage high. Public-sector workers would lose nothing if the government would pick up the cost of this supplementary insurance. Private-sector employees who had been covered by their employer would no longer require it and could be given a one-time pay raise to restore the lost value of losing those benefits.
Let’s do some basic math. We currently have about 90 million people that can’t afford coverage because they are either underemployed or completely out of the work force; indirectly, the government ends up footing the bill when these people have emergency room visits or unpaid doctor bills. We have about 50 million people on welfare, disability and social security. There are approximately 20 million public-sector workers and most of them are married with children. There is an additional element to this equation that is often overlooked. About 20% of our economy is based on government contracts for the private sector. Some examples are road construction and military equipment contracts. These private-sector workers are well-paid and have excellent insurance coverage that is very similar to that of public-sector workers. When you add up all of these disparate groups of people who already have healthcare coverage through the government, we’re really not that far away from universal healthcare as things stand right now.
At the very least, this proposal should be discussed within the government and then a nationwide referendum should be held so that the people can ultimately decide.
There are many positive aspects to the plan I just put forth.
1. Example: If you make $60,000 a year, your insurance would cost $500 per month. Since your employer no longer needs to contribute to your insurance, they could then offer you a one-time pay raise (probably 5 to 10%).
2. Universal healthcare is inevitable. The foundation for implementing universal healthcare already exists as Medicare.
3. With Medicare essentially covering everyone, all of the administrative costs would go down considerably.
4. Businesses would no longer need to worry about insurance costs increasing and could therefore focus on growth.
5. Our politicians could spend more time trying to reduce prescription drug and medical procedure costs.
6. The tax code would be simplified thereby reducing government administrative costs for agencies such as the IRS.
7. A substantial segment of the population doesn't want to work because they’re afraid of losing their Medicaid insurance. The ones who are actually able to work would now be willing to find jobs because that fear would no longer exist.
8. This plan would result in a stronger economic environment because there would no longer be mandated insurance costs for employers which would result in the hiring of more employees. This job growth would result in even more people paying into Medicare which makes it easier for everyone to be covered. Medicare would become self-sustaining provided that the government was forbidden from borrowing the funds like they did with social security.
9. Hospitals would no longer need to inflate costs because the percentage of people who cannot pay their medical bills would decrease significantly.
10. Keeping deductibles and co-payments would ensure that there would still be competition within the free market.
11. VA hospitals could join the private sector thereby allowing veterans to go to local hospitals.
12. This proposal will never be put forth by our government unless the people demand it. Such a bill would detrimentally affect the pocket books of most politicians because they would no longer receive kickbacks from the insurance and pharmaceutical companies.
Everything I have outlined is just an initial proposal created from my opinions. All of these issues need to be addressed in conjunction with the American people’s input. Note: Obamacare has created an entitlement society. Republicans need to wake up to the reality that this mindset is not going away anytime soon. With this proposal, the people will be paying for their own healthcare and the government will no longer have to borrow trillions of dollars to pay for healthcare. At the very least, this proposal should be discussed within the government and then a nationwide referendum should be held so that the people can ultimately decide.
THE PEOPLE’S VOTE
The one thing we have learned in the 2016 election is that the people want change and to have their voices heard. Solving this problem is simpler than you might think. The US is supposed to have three branches of government that hold one another in check and ensure accountability to the people. Instead, these branches are working as one entity to serve their own interests instead of those of the country. Our two-party system now exists only to provide the people with the illusion that they are working towards our interests. Regardless of whether Republicans or Democrats are in power, the government operates in the exact same manner. In point of fact, all of these politicians are attempting to keep us divided by focusing on hot-button issues like gun rights and race relations. By keeping the people distracted, they ensure that the status quo never changes. They never accomplish anything of significance unless it helps them get re-elected or aids in their personal enrichment. How else can you explain that the majority of our politicians have become millionaires while earning such relatively low salaries?
The First Amendment provides us with both the freedom of press and the freedom of speech; these rights are also a critical means for the people to serve as their own check on the government. However, the freedom of press is now irrelevant. For the most part, the mainstream press is now a propaganda tool of the government. Whenever someone in the press doesn't follow the official narrative of the government, it is labeled as ‘fake news’ and widely derided. This is yet another step in the direction of eliminating the final check on our government: free speech. If every person who speaks out against the government will now be shouted down or ignored by both the press and our elected officials, our only remaining outlet for spreading our voice is through social media. Unfortunately, this is not likely to survive for very long. There are already those within the government who are promoting the idea of censoring ‘inappropriate’ content/rhetoric from the internet. If the government is given the power to silence dissonant opinions on the internet as well as through the mainstream media, there will no longer be any means for the people to meaningfully express their voice.
Whether or not you agree with the statements I have just presented, I believe everybody will agree that the American people need to become more informed so that they will vote with their hearts/minds and not just along party lines. This can be accomplished by giving the people an actual vote in Congress. Every registered voter should have the ability to cast a vote in their state (via the internet) over every issue that is presented before Congress. Each state would be given one vote in Congress that would be cast directly by the voters of that state. The people would no longer have to place all of their trust on congressional representatives who may not be serving in their best interests. This process would also give people an incentive to learn the specifics of legislation/policies that they previously had no hand in creating. Having an additional 50 votes in Congress that directly represent the will of the people will lead to a more informed public which will help to ensure that the government is kept accountable to the American people.
There are many other steps that could be taken to give the people a greater voice. A state-wide polling website should be established and every state resident should be given an ID # so that they have an anonymous means of voting on important issues. As it stands today, politicians can pretend to have no clue as to what the people want because there is no real process for speaking with them. When you write your government representatives a letter, they reply with a polite form letter that essentially tells you to screw off because they cannot waste any time on the needs of a single constituent. The people must have a forum where their opinions will be taken into consideration; as it stands today, most of these places only allow the expression of an opinion with zero guarantee that it will ever be addressed. Our representatives should be making their decisions based on the people’s votes/opinions. Otherwise, our representatives will use their personal motivations when reaching conclusions on important issues such as the border wall, sanctuary cities, funding Planned Parenthood, judicial immunity, Citizens United, civil forfeiture laws, internet censorship, one line veto power, the legality of bribes from lobbyists, and allowing cameras in court rooms. These issues and many others should be determined by the people.
The Freedom of Information Act should not require a lawsuit to force the government to release documents to which the people should already have access; most organizations have a difficult time challenging the government in court so what chance does an individual citizen possibly have? Most importantly, any lawsuit filed by a citizen against the government should always be adjudicated by the people with a jury trial. Judges are a part of the very government that you are suing; how can a citizen trust a judge to rule fairly on such a case when every judge has a vested interest in protecting the government?
Would you allow a criminal the right to alter laws/regulations to ensure that they will be able to continue to break the law? There are certain issues that the government simply cannot be trusted to handle with integrity. For example, even an honest politician will be unlikely to want to end lobbying because it already provides them with a legal means of accepting bribes and enriching themselves in the process. The people should have the right to voice their concerns over these issues and many others. We must save our republic by pushing for the people’s vote. Creating a means for the people to have a voice could be an effective way of breaking the two-party system that is tearing apart our country. This would result in increased transparency/accountability for the government which would also force the mainstream media to report the news in a more factual and objective manner.