Obama is discussing his health care reform plans, which would require all American children to be insured and eventually provide the opportunity for insurance for all Americans. He hopes to finance this by
“…allowing President Bush’s tax cuts on dividends and capital gains and on those making more than about $250,000 a year to expire in 2010 instead of acting to make them permanent…the rest of the $65 billion funding could come by raising taxes on inheritances worth more than $7 million.”
And check this out:
“His package would prohibit insurance companies from refusing coverage because of pre-existing conditions. It would also create a National Health Insurance Exchange to monitor insurance companies and limit their profits. Obama said the typical consumer would save $2,500 a year on premiums.”
John Edwards has a similar plan, although his would require all Americans to have insurance.
At this point, I’m just excited to see these issues being discussed with such seriousness. Because a “great nation” isn’t the nation with the biggest aircraft carriers or the most threatening offshore imprisonment system; a “great nation” takes care of its poor because to do so is not only a gesture of basic human compassion, but of economic wisdom and foresight. I read an awesome article a couple years ago by UN Millenium Project head and controversial badass Jeffrey Sachs in Scientific American in which he laid out some basic long- and short-term plans for improvements in the general African standard of living, and how these development would benefit the world economy and the United States’ own national security in the 21st century. From the article:
Western society tends to think of foreign aid as money lost. But if supplied properly, it is an investment that will one day yield huge returns, much as U.S. assistance to western Europe and East Asia after World War II did. By prospering, today’s impoverished countries will wean themselves from endless charity. They will contribute to the international advance of science, technology and trade. They will escape political instability, which leaves many of them vulnerable to violence, narcotics trafficking, civil war and even terrorist takeover. Our own security will be bolstered as well. As U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan wrote earlier this year: “There will be no development without security, and no security without development.”
Exactly. And what kind of future can we expect from our country if we don’t care for our disadvantaged? I truly believe that George Bush does not care about our nation’s poor. I look forward with great hope to a presidential candidate who feels differently.