There are four pieces of legislation that Congress could pass that would have both immediate and significant impacts on the income of well over half of families. Today’s discussions on how to help the middle class has focused solely on raising the minimum wage and instituting some form of universal health care. And while economists are in agreement that raising the minimum wage will benefit more than 35 million workers and a Medicare-for-All plan will save the nation $2 trillion over the next ten years, there’s other structural changes that can have an equally significant impact.
Some form of universal health insurance is inevitable. This is not just my opinion. It’s also the opinion of the late conservative Pulitzer Prize winning author Charles Krauthammer, and freelance finance columnist Malcolm Berko. The need for universal insurance coverage of some form is made obvious from the current systems failures. Some years ago, at a Health Care conference at ASU we learned that 62 percent of all bankruptcies were linked to medical expenses, of those who filed for bankruptcy, 80 percent had health insurance. Medical costs account for 1.5 million home foreclosures yearly. These problems related to health care financing occur in no other nation.
For politicians wanting to address global warming, mandating pollution reduction levels (their favorite approach) requires that the government know what is technically possible. The problem is that the firms will not voluntarily divulge what they are or are not capable of doing. This process typically ends up in court with industry claiming that the required reductions are impossible to meet.