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Politics & Power

What's new on The American Borders Forum this week? Preview pane at the bottom of the page.

Debating Healthcare Reform

In Washington it seems that both Democrats and Republicans can agree that some form of healthcare reform is needed. What seems to be the major roadblock in the road is coming to a consensus on how to reform healthcare. Maybe a good starting point would be to see where both sides can agree.

One area where both sides agree is that there is a need to address healthcare proactively instead of reactively. Everyone agrees that healthier Americans will reduce healthcare costs. Knowing that, programs that promote ongoing health maintenance should be a part of the plan. If we make sure kids get exercise in school then we can lower the childhood obesity rate and make exercise a regular part of the American lifestyle. Doing that will keep Americans healthier overall lowering the rates of adult onset diabetes and other obesity related health issues.

If we simply lowered the average weight of all Americans by twenty pounds we could save billions of dollars each year in treating obesity related health problems. For adults, give tax incentives to lead a healthy lifestyle. Make health club membership tax deductible with proof of use such as a log book that shows how often you go to the gym. Put the deduction on a sliding scale. The more you go, the bigger the tax credit. Tax healthy foods at a lower rate than unhealthy foods and subsidize organic and natural food production to make healthy eating affordable and make unhealthy eating less appealing. Itís not a mandate so people can still gorge themselves on Twinkies if they want to but changing the rules just a little would make it easier for low to moderate income people to live healthy lifestyles. A lot more people would eat fresh fruits and vegetables and healthy meats if they could afford them. Make them affordable. By giving incentives for people to live healthier lives we reduce the amount of money we spend unnecessarily on healthcare.

Another area where both sides agree relates to the cost of prescription drugs. Everyone agrees that the cost of prescription drugs are high and for many people the cost of medicine is quite literally bankrupting them. Drug companies cite the need for research as the driving force behind the high cost of prescription medication but critics often point to exclusivity, drug patents and high profits as the driving factors behind the cost of prescription drugs. To address this issue, lawmakers could establish a national research institute to develop new drugs paid for with the taxing of pharmaceutical profits from all manufacturers. Breakthroughs would be shared with all drug makers keeping the market competitive and letting the market drive price instead of products with no competition artificially inflating prices.

The cost of a national research facility could easily be offset with taxing the profits of the companies who benefit from the results of the research. Drugs would be less expensive and everyone would win. Beyond that, we need to focus on putting profit in cures as opposed to treatment. As long as continuing care is more profitable to drug manufacturers and healthcare providers than finding cures for disease, leaving the search for cures in their hands will be folly. There is no incentive for drug companies to cure cancer as long as making chemotherapy drugs is profitable.

Those examples are just two areas in the healthcare debate where there is already some consensus and where there is great potential for lowering costs and improving healthcare. There are many aspects of healthcare reform that both sides of the current debate in Washington can agree on. If we focus on these areas and begin building a consensus on those issues we can lay the groundwork for real healthcare reform that everyone can live with. Itís far less important whether we extend Medicare vs. creating healthcare cooperatives than it is to work on helping Americans to be healthier overall. The goal should be healthy people first and bureaucracy last. If you address the things driving the need for all the trips to the hospital and the cost once youíre there first, paying for universal healthcare will have a much less scary bottom line.

Troy Wilson-Ripsom - Staff Writer | Give your feedback on this article. | Click icon to Digg this article



Get Involved

Do you sit and yell at the TV when politicians come on? Do you shake your head sadly whenever you see a homeless veteran? Is that all you tend to do?

It's time to put up or shut up America. We all love to talk about how we could do things better or how we would do it if we were in charge. Well, it's time to put your money where your mouth is. If you can think of it, you can write it down. If you can write it down, you can type it. If you can type it, you can e-mail it and if you can e-mail it, you can send it here.

We at Reform America are committed to giving voice to anyone who wants to put their ideas out there to make our nation a better place. As the readership grows, we are able to take those views to a wider and wider audience. Grassroots campaigns begin with voices speaking out. You have opinions. Voice them. We aren't about conservative or liberal. We aren't about pro-this or anti-that. We're about Americans and the First Amendment. Reform America is about politics by, for and of the people. You are the people. You only need to speak up. America is listening. Send your article to: stories@reform-america.net



Have You Been Downsized Due to Outsourcing?

For several years now we have listened to some within the business community tell us that America can't compete on a global scale unless they send our jobs overseas where they can be done cheaper. The question becomes, if we don't have good paying jobs here, how can we sustain our own economy? We want to hear from you. Have you lost your job? Have you been forced into a lower wage job due to outsourcing? Has outsourcing been a success for you? Did you end up in a better job?

Tell us your story so we can make sure the politicians see how outsourcing really impacts the workers who are backbone of America. Send your story to stories@reform-america.net





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