Thursday, October 03, 2013

Both sides MUST compromise to save our country....

Today's Post:  Thursday, 10-03-2013

Neither side will give up all of what they want.  But each side must give up something to create a compromise that will save our country.

Here’s a relevant and inspiring quote and some ideas that might work and can at least start the discussion:

"Let us not seek the Republican answer, or the Democratic answer, but the right answer.
Let us not fix the blame for the past.
Let us accept our own responsibility for the future."  John F Kennedy

BOTH Republicans and Democrats need to post this and to REMEMBER it and get on with doing the nation's business and save the politics and grandstanding for election campaigns only.

In JFK's time, the parties were far less polarized and the members of congress were more open minded and thought more that way.

As a result, they built compromises and got on with the nation's business.

Today BOTH sides need to stop blaming the other side and focus on what the compromises are that serve the public best and are doable and serve both parties even if not perfectly. 

These MUST include finding concessions that do this that they may not like.   AND, BOTH the Republicans and the Democrats MUST do this.

Here's my contribution to the process that includes some ways they may be able to do a deal and each give up enough less both sides will be willing to do it:

1.  The Democrats must find a way to reset their new program to focus most for the now uninsured on prevention including free vaccinations and tests that reveal diseases that can be headed off and prevented before they develop AND the coverage for illnesses that cost MORE to treat and which cause visits to the IR when NOT treated early -- such as infections and suspected melanoma and diseases that make others sick if untreated such as TB. 

AND the coverage above that needs to be scaled back enough to cost less and to stop causing people who now have coverage through their employers to lose it.  (This IS happening and harms the goals of THEIR program and is increasing the number of uninsured people!  Since this is one of the legitimate gripes of the Republicans in my view this is close to a must have for the compromise. 

It also gives the Republican’s a face saving deal, "We tried to kill Obamacare and even though we didn't, we stopped the part that was harming people!"

The Democrats need to find at least one or two ways we can reduce other programs or make them more cost efficient to help pay for their program.

The Republicans and the Conservative Democrats with strong business backgrounds CAN find these and must do so to create a compromise the Republicans can sell to their backers and to show good faith by the Democrats.  (Things like Medicare fraud that pay out government money to scammers instead of for real healthcare must be stopped.  And any federal program that does not deliver the effects it’s designed to produce must be fixed until it does or dropped.  Lean sigma methods from industry can be adopted by all government agencies to cut costs without harming the programs.)

2.  The Republicans in the House in turn must vote to fund the government and increase the debt enough to keep our government solvent NOW and ask only that this be contingent on creating this compromise by a certain date.  They then must really work to create the compromise both sides will accept and be willing to extend the deadline.  We can no longer afford for them to simply wait for the deadline before doing this with no effort to compromise.

And, they need to also offer some things to make the compromise DOABLE that the Democrats might accept.

Here are some things that might work to do that:

One solution that would raise money to fund the more desirable parts of this program WITHOUT taxes would be to STOP paying farmers to grow the crops that are causing the diseases that are causing at least half of our current health care costs! 

This would help pay for a better health care program but add no new taxes.

These are sugar, corn, wheat, and soy.  To be fair to the farmers and have the resulting changes in the economy be orderly and survivable by those farmers and the food industry it could begin two years after the start date with no change until then and then lower the subsidies by 5% a year for 20 years. 

(The data is in.  These foods DO cause obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, strokes, osteoarthritis, and Alzheimer's disease and other forms of mental decline.

That means this change saves money for the program a second way. Health care costs will drop rapidly!)

The Republicans DO have a point that taxes slow the economy and to not want them raised if possible. 

BUT to simply never accept any taxes no matter how critically important the need for them is suicidal and not in the nation's or the people's interest. 

Why not propose a tax that does NOT slow the economy and saves more money than it raises? 

There IS one. 

Taxing tobacco products by a large amount cuts consumption enough to save more health care money than it costs.  Taxing heavily the other food ingredients that cause these avoidable diseases such as high fructose corn syrup, MSG, refined grains, omega 6 oils, hydrogenated oils, and sugar and artificial sweeteners --would do the job.

The data is in and conclusive that these ingredients also cause obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, strokes, osteoarthritis, and Alzheimer's disease and other forms of mental decline.

So this too saves money quickly from the reduced health care costs.

And, it also could be phased in over a period of time. The taxes should start high enough immediately to cut consumption but take another 5 years to come into full effect.  They should at least double the amount that food ingredient costs the buyer at the end.  That could cut in with 20% of that total the first year and then 10% more each year for 8 years.

The bonus is that the government can then use the money raised to cover the other health care changes that are clearly beneficial without slowing the economy!

3.  We must have some kind of compromise and relatively soon.  At least some of these things will work for both sides.  And, if each side both offers and asks for things that might work a compromise IS possible.

In every case, people succeed who make an extra effort when it counts.

Well that time is here!  I challenge both sides to make that effort now on this compromise.

The best compromise will require each side to give up something but each side will gain something and done right it can wind up serving the public health and cutting our health care costs.

David Eller  

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