Social Question

skfinkel's avatar

What is your greatest wish, politically speaking?

Asked by skfinkel (13478points) September 26th, 2010

Reading the newspaper, I find myself wishing that certain things will happen. In particular, that the Democrats will do really well in November, adding seats so that they collapse the Republican filibuster threat.

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45 Answers

Seek's avatar

That everyone gets over their damn selves and passes a health care bill that actually means something.

“Oh? You’re so poor you can’t afford health insurance, but you’re terribly sick? Well, we’ll set up a government sponsored plan for pre-existing conditions. It’ll only cost you $5,000 a year in premiums and out of pocket costs are a max of $6,000.”

Who the fuck does that help?

poisonedantidote's avatar

For no one to vote, just for one year. Just to see what they do when they dont get a single vote either way.

tranquilsea's avatar

For some form of proportional representation.

Trillian's avatar

That politicians of all sides put away agendas and make decisions based upon constituent need and that lobbies are ignored.
Also that every vote for every issue is made public and any money or “gifts” given to any decision maker is a matter of public record as well.

JLeslie's avatar

I would be very curious to get 100 more Democrats in Congress in both the house and senate, and see what happens. Once they have a very significant majority, maybe they can start behaving more like independents and truly get to some real meaningful solutions. I would love to see this happen between the two parties, the republicans and the dems, but it is simply to adversarily at this point. Right now the Democrats vote almost as a solid block and so do the Republicans, that is scary, shows people are not thinking, but caving to political and party pressure.

Also, I don’t want crap tacked onto other issues. Vote on single issues.

wilma's avatar

“I don’t want crap tacked onto other issues. Vote on single issues.”
Yes @JLeslie That is my wish.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Obama tried. He ended up watering it down so the idiot republicans would vote with him.

I’ve done something I’ve never done before, and that is I’m getting involved in the congressional elections. I finally got a couple of Raj Goyle signs for my yard. Also, yesterday I found out that on Friday he has a little satellite campaign office here in town. I’m going to be doing some volunteer work there after I get off work.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III during the primaries one of the differences between Hillary and Obama was Hillary was for requiring everyone to participate in a healthcare plan, and Obama was ok with having an out. I don’t think Obama was ever on the side of single payer or true universal coverage. Any of show of it was to start in a more extreme position to try and give the Republicans the illusion of compromise in my opinion.

laureth's avatar

@Trillian, re “Also that every vote for every issue is made public and any money or “gifts” given to any decision maker is a matter of public record as well.”

Do you mean on a Congressional level?

Votes: Check here for an easy search. If you want to look at their methodology, you can see where they get the information, which is all a part of public record. Also, here’s another great source for voting record information. Thomas is pretty decent for some things, too.

Money and Gifts:Open Secrets consolidates the information on public record for this sort of thing. I’m sure they don’t get information for every time someone gives a senator a stick of gum, but it’s pretty revealing.

Re: “make decisions based upon constituent need and that lobbies are ignored.”

Please also understand that as distasteful as lobbying has become, they are also constituents exercising free speech and petition for redress of grievances. In fact, it was once lauded as the best way for otherwise busy citizens to make their voices heard in government, through joining a special interest group (like the NRA or the AARP) who could, through member contributions, affect legislation favorable to them.

Trillian's avatar

@laureth I meant really any decisioin maker, governors, congressmen, judges, whoever. Thank you, I’ll check these out when I have a bit more time. All of these seem like exactly the sort of thing I spoke of. I may have to try to pick your brain at some point if you’re willing….

weeveeship's avatar

Why can’t we all just get along?

jerv's avatar

I would like to see the two party system come to an end and move towards more of a coalition government that better represents the diverse views of our population. Sure, the Tea Party will get a few seats, but so will Moderates that don’t embrace either of the extremes we currently have to choose between. As it stands, it’s hard to find a fiscally responsible candidate that supports gay marriage, is pro-choice, and cares about those earning less than $250K/yr. The Democrats are the closer of the two, but still not what I am looking for.

Ron_C's avatar

I have two, actually. I wish the Electoral College was removed from our election process and that the Tea Party people would see the light and adopt progressive rather than regressive ideas.

laureth's avatar

I guess, personally, one of my greatest political wishes would be for people to understand that the stimulus spending isn’t necessarily financially irresponsible. Without it, we would not be as well off as we are today, as a country. People see that we’re in a slump and think that the stimulus did nothing (i.e., was a complete waste), but what they don’t see is how life would have been without it. We don’t have 30’s-like bread lines, for example.

The reason it didn’t work as well as hoped is because it was not enough. There was no way that the “conservative” leaning folks in congress would have let it be enough, even though we pretty much know exactly what it needed to be to work. The formula was known in 1948. Seriously. It was in Robert Samuelson’s 1948 textbook, that was intended to teach Econ 101. What has made it unknown was the more recent trend of throwing economics knowledge down the oubliette. And since it was not enough to work, people don’t want to add any more money to it, even though the interest rate on current borrowing is at historically low levels. In other words, Greece we ain’t. Even the TARP fund (which is more paid off than people seem to think) saved the economy from imploding. And I do not think it is “fiscally responsible” to allow the country to fail in ways not unlike the Great Depression, with its toll of human misery, because we’re unwilling to spend a pile of money.

I guess, in short, my political dream is for people to understand Depression/Recession economics. I want people to pay attention not just to what common sense says (“don’t borrow when things are bad” which is often true) but also to facts and figures that require more thinking and observation than knee-jerk partisan reaction. I guess I dream of an informed public and informed politicians. Pipe dream, right?

Dutchess_III's avatar

@JLeslie You lost me…you said, “during the primaries one of the differences between Hillary and Obama was Hillary was for requiring everyone to participate in a healthcare plan, and Obama was ok with having an out.”…that’s one of the tenants of the bill (that I don’t agree with, actually) that “requires” everyone to have insurance. I guess I missed your point.

You also lost me with “Any of show of it (really wanting universal health care) was to start in a more extreme position to try and give the Republicans the illusion of compromise in my opinion.” If you don’t think that Universal Health Care was what he really wanted, then what was the point of even bringing it up? It has the potential to do more damage than good to his political career. So…why bother with a “show” for no reason when the stakes are so high?

At any rate, if he DID start in an extreme position just so he could compromise….I’d call that a smooth move! It worked, didn’t it? It’s only the beginnning….

I can see Obama being much more flexible and compromising than Hillary, and because of that I see him getting a lot more done than she could have.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III I thought under Obama’s plan you can choose not to have insurance, but if you get sick you have to pay a penalty? The way I understood it Obama wants to make insurance available to everyone. Hillary wanted it to be like Medicare, basically if you are an American you’re covered. At least during the primaries that seemed to be her ideal, who knows what she would have had to compromise in the end if she were president.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@JLeslie Well, maybe we both need to re-research. I think Obama wanted true government backed insurance from the beginning, but he was being stalled out by the Republicans. So from the beginning he was trying to find ways around the stall out. See this article
Hmmmm. Having just read that for the first time kind of puts that concept of insurance being manditory in a whole new light. I’ve been thinking you can’t REQUIRE someone to have something like that, but the reasoning is that if everyone is paying something then it will help keep costs down, rather than just the people who want to be insured carrying the whole load. He also says, ”“If we do end up with a system where people are responsible for their own insurance, we need to provide a hardship waiver to exempt Americans who cannot afford it.”
You know, the bigger the insurance companies are (ie: the more subscribers they have) the less their premiums are, right? BCBS comes to mind immediately. Well, if we had ONE government backed insurance company, and every single person in the US was a subscriber….think about it! It would work!

jerv's avatar

@Dutchess_III Let me play Devil’s Advocate here for a second.

If we had one insurance company then we would have a monopoly, and that is a bad thing for Capitalism and therefore bad for America.

If the government backed it, then that would be Socialism/Communism. Besides, the government has no right to be involved in business in any way, shape, or form, not even as a regulatory body, and definitely not as a competitor.

Okay, now that I’ve got that out of my system, I have to wonder why Conservatives make such a big stink about paying for somebody else’s stuff, like healthcare, unemployment, or anything like that. I mean, anyone with insurance who goes to a doctor is sucking hard-earned money out of the pockets of everybody else with the same insurance company. And what about the police and fire departments; why not privatize them and only serve those who pay for protection directly out of their own pocket; why should I pay to keep your house from burning down?

The truth is that society as a whole is better off if we all chip in to pay for certain things and share the wealth more than we have in my lifetime. But with us being so damn polarized, we can’t have that without a major change that would require a Fairy Godmother to wave her magic wand. So long as the two-party system stands, the battle between the Oligarchy and the Communists will only get worse.

tranquilsea's avatar

@jerv “If the government backed it, then that would be Socialism/Communism. Besides, the government has no right to be involved in business in any way, shape, or form, not even as a regulatory body, and definitely not as a competitor.”

I nearly spit my tea all over my computer. Anarchist much? The lack of regulation has worked so well in the past.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@tranquilsea…read the rest of his post.

@jerv Right on to the second paragraph. But, to refute the first paragraph….public education is a Business, if you want to look at it that way. Our civil servants are working for a Business…..the post office workers, county road maintenance workers, the folks who run the lake AND make profit on it. As an educator, I’M employed by the government, and I like it! There are certain things that allow a country to run better if it’s is run by all—that is if everyone chips in, not just those who WANT to chip in. I mean, if I had a choice, at this point I’d say, “No more public school taxes for me! All my kids are grown!” or, “Quit taking money from me to repair those roads because I don’t go anywhere!” Those things just can’t be compared to, say, a factory that makes potato chips or Frisbees, and said factory is owned and run by the government.

Anyway, I bet they don’t pay taxes in Somalia. (But I’ll have to check.)

Dutchess_III's avatar

O. Know what I just thought of….You’re right @jerv. Monopolies are not good. That’s why in the article?r=1 I linked above to @JLeslie (now linked here) Obama says, _“I strongly believe that Americans should have the choice of a public health insurance option operating alongside private plans,” he wrote. “This will give them a better range of choices, make the health care market more competitive and keep insurance companies honest.” You know, the Post Office isn’t a monopoly. If it was, UPS wouldn’t be in existence. Education isn’t a monopoly. If it was, the government wouldn’t allow private schools and home-schooling to exist. So, if someone can revamp an insurance company to compete with a government funded insurance program, go for it!

(This is taking my mind off of E=MC^2 and THANK YOU!)

jerv's avatar

@Dutchess_III Regarding that Obama quote, many who are anti-nationalized-healthcare would ignore that as they ignore the fact that Germany has many private health insurance companies despite also having a state-run program and still insist that such a thing will force insurance companies out of business.

I think I may change my wish a bit now; to have a more informed and less ignorant voting populace. Besides, I think that if we did, the two-party system would fall apart under it’s own ridiculousness.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@jerv “to have a more informed and less ignorant voting populace. Besides, I think that if we did, the two-party system would fall apart under it’s own ridiculousness.” I second that, too. Geez. To think that getting getting basic health care for every citizen in the “Greatest Nation In The World, Which Is The Only Nation In The World That Doesn’t Provide It’s Citizens With Basic Health Care” hinges on the rumors that Obama is Muslim, or that he wasn’t born in the US…. Of course, the biggest argument is one we can’t deny.. Obama’s father was a BLACK GUY! Yeah. Down with ignorant voters.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III you might find this interesting comparing plans between the candidates during the primaries. My original understanding was a little different than what o read here, but it did co firm that Clinton accused Obama of not truly covering everyone, and that she wanted to mandate coverage. What I had not realized was her plan was still very similar to his otherwise.

I want single payer with people on salaries. I can’t stand dealing with insurance companies, it is mentally draining and unseemly when suffering from an illness. I have been I. The public system of military health coverage and our private system, and I much preferred the military. Some of our best medical institutions salary their doctors, Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins, I think too many people go into medicine for the money. I want doctors to earn great salaries, but I don’t want them to be running their own business, and paid more for certain services. I will never get my wish.

Outside of not getting my wish, I agree the more competition the better.

Also, the point that if we all contribute coverage costs should go down, of course that is true, unless the insurance companies choose to simply make more profit instead.

I personally have a problem with groups negotiating deals with insurers and doctors, and I hate that insurance is offered through a persons job. My husbands company basically decided what they are going to offer us in terms of insurance plane, I don’t really get to choose from everything out there. If I decide to go outside, I don’t get the money his company pays to help me afford insurance, so I am boxed in. If Cigna, or Aetna, or any insurer you pick had 1 million people participating in their plan A it should not matter if it is because 20 large businesses have all of their employees participating, or if 1 million individuals decided on their own to participate, in the end the insurance company has the same amount of participants. When I buy a house or a car the builder or dealer does not make me buy insurance from a particular company.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I lost you a bit….insurance is not just offered through a person’s job. A person can go out and get their own, personal BCBS policy…if they can afford to pay $1000 a month. The way a job works is yes, the premiums are still $1000 a month, but the company pays a certain percentage. The more employees who are signed up for health care, the lower the overall outlay is for the company. That’s why Boeing, up until the 90’s anyway, could afford to pay 100% of their employee’s premiums, and Joe the plumber couldn’t. The costs all hinge on the number of subscribers in any given plan, end of story.

I don’t understand you want “single health payer on people with salaries…” what do you mean?

From your link (very interesting!) Hilary accused Obama of not wanting true “National” Healthcare to which…. “Obama shot back: “Well, let’s talk about health care right now because the fact of the matter is that I do provide universal health care. The only difference between Sen. Clinton’s health care plan and mine is that she thinks the problem for people without health care is that nobody has mandated — forced — them to get health care.”
In other words, Hilary was for mandated health care and Obama wasn’t. However, in Jan of 2009, a month after he assumed the presidency, in this article which is titled Obama Open to a Mandate on Health Insurance the opening sentence reads “President Obama said Wednesday that he was receptive to Congressional proposals that would require Americans to have health insurance…” And what has happened from that moment on? It was CONGRESSIONAL proposals, not Obama’s, that Health Care be mandated! But Obama listened to the arguments, came to a decision that he agreed…and all hell has broken loose since then over that issue, hasn’t it! States are suing the government over that issue.

I honestly think that Hilary would have gotten no closer to Universal Health Care than her wick-dipping husband did. (No, Obama is not the first President to wish for this. He’s just the first to have gotten this far, as meagre as it is at the moment.)

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III I’ll try to clarify. Sure you don’t have to buy insurance through your job, but effectively it is ridiculous not to, because most jobs pay part of the premium. If I choose to get insurance on my own, I lose that contribution from my job. So, basically we wind up only choosing from whatever our job offers in health insurance.

I want single payer with doctors on salaries. How it is set up now, the majority of doctors get paid more when they are doing a procedure, like surgery, or a colonoscopy, then when they meet with us for an appointment. Salaried doctors make the same money no matter what they are doing, so they are not motivated to have us do unnecessary procedures. Several months ago I heard about a doctor billing for a PAP smear on a very elderly women who was terminal in the hospital. That disgusts me. If he really did it, I feel it is akin to rape. If he didn’t, but is just working the system, it is unethical and illegal. If he made a salary, he would have no reward for such things. That of course is an extreme example, but I think we could probably argue that hysterectomies probably fall into this category, and doctors who have ownership in diagnostic facilities, MRI, CAT, etc, probably like any excuse to get an insurance covered patient in for a scan.

jerv's avatar

@JLeslie Part of the reason I tolerated the low wages at my last job was because of the insurance. Sure, I didn’t get a raise for three years, but their contribution towards my insurance went from 80% to 95%, so in effect, I did get a raise; I just didn’t see it in my wallet since that extra $3/hr went to the insurance company instead of to me directly. I earn less than $20k/yr, so I can’t afford to pay an extra $900/month (more than my rent!) for insurance. Like many Americans, I rely heavily on the employer for my health insurance.

Or are we back to “only the rich are allowed to see doctors and the poor can just die!”?

JLeslie's avatar

@jerv you are actually reinforcing how I feel about it. You were basically enslaved to your company, not free to change jobs, because they gave you a great insurance deal. First, I would prefer they pay you the money, and let you choose your insurer. Second, if it was a tax on your higher salary you would be free to work anywhere without concern for health care. At your salary you would probably pay very little.

How it is now, someone can have a job for 10 years, pay into an insurer, and then if they are laid off not have insurance. All of the money that was paid into that health care system means nothing. If we pay it into the government it all counts, because we are always covered. And, people dont realise there is not always COBRA available. If the company closes there can be no coverage. Happened to me when Jacobson’s department stores closed. Luckily, my husband could get insurance, but many of my friends were not married. I had a friend who developed a heart problem, and had to pay quite a bit of money, because she had bought insurance on her own after the store closed, but it of course had a high deductable and then a percentage she had to pay for medical care, and she wound up needing heart surgery. She had worked her whole life, and had always paid for health insurance, but it counted for nothing. Anyway, she wound up with a $10,000 looming over her head while she was out of work and recovering from heart surgery. Imagine if she had not bought the insurance? I bet many people didn’t.

Discobitch's avatar

The restoration of the Varna in it’s primordial form, the destruction of the United States and the demise of an economics-based world order.
The destruction of free market thought and all the other thought-forms popular in the Anglosaxon West is necessary as well.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@JLeslie Problem is, not everyone has a job. The other problem is, often the premiums are so high, even with the company paying a portion, that they just can’t afford it.
Also, giving the people the money and letting them choose their own….well, that wouldn’t work. It wouldn’t be logical or cost effective for the company. Why would a company pay you $400 a month out of their own pocket for you to go find insurance somewhere else? The more people within a company who subscribe to the provider the lower the overall cost is. Take it to the extreme….the company pays every worker $300 a month to get their own insurance, and everyone but one employee goes elsewhere, uses a provider other than the one the company has chosen. (this is a rhetorical question….)...See what I’m saying? Basically the company would be in a position of paying $100,000 a month just to keep one employee in insurance, and the company gets nothing in return. That would be bad business, IMO.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III and that is why I hate health insurance attached to our job. I firmly believe in heathcare through taxes and the government, with the option to pay out of pocket. I will even entertain insurance companies being able to compete with the goverment, I just don’t want the companies we work for involved at all. Healthcare is one of the few industries I am not in a capitalistic mindset. Again, think about this, if you pay in your whole life through taxes, and then find yourself out of work and get sock, who can be angry that you used the health care system? You have paid for years. If you lose your job now, and don’t have insurance, all the money you have paid for years years means nothing.

Also, running health care for profit is kind of disgusting to me (not to be confused with the pharmaceutical industry which I am more on the side of private business having a hand in). I remember one fluther question about the wives of officers in the military getting free breast augmentations. I have no idea if that actually happens, but it probably does. In the private sector it is maybe $5k-$7k maybe more, I dont know the prices these days. In the military the doctor is salaried, the operating room is already there, so expences are electricity, medicine, and surgical supplies, fairly minimal. It probably costs a few hundred dollars as long as their are not complications, and our military residents practice in teaching hospitals through these types of surgeries probably, fo when a woman needs reconstructive work.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@JLeslie Do I have this right? Are you saying you are FOR health care reform and you are FOR a public option (which…my understanding of a public option is a government run insurance company that every man, woman and child in the country is free to pay into at different rate—the more subscribers the better, the cheaper) and that independent insurance companies be free to compete with said public option? Is that correct? (I love discussing stuff with you!!)

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III I know I am being confusing. I’ll try to be more concise.

1. My ideal is single payer, government run health care, but I think that will never happen in the US, at least no time soon.

2. If we cant have number one, then I think we need to go to the other extreme and have a lot of competition. Individuals should have more choice including insurance companies competing across state lines.

3. I am ok with the government competing with private insurers.

4. I prefer everyone be required to pay into the system and be covered, but I don’t see how we do that without it being a single payer system done through the government?

Interestingly, there is a fluther question right now about that guy in TN who refused to pay the $75 a year fee to have fire protection services, and when his house caught fire, the local fire department let it burn to the ground. In my view this is why we need certain things to be a tax, because people all too often feel immortal, and dont believe anything will go wrong. I think when we don’t require insurance, many people will skip buying it, and hope for the best. This guy said he thought even if he didn’t pay the fire departent would not just let a house a burn down. What I said on the other thread was sometimes we need mommy (the government) to tell us what to do, becuase we are too immature to figure it out for ourselves. Although, other people see it as his decision not to pay, now he has to deal with the consequences. Funny, Obama’s provision concerning adult children now eligeable up until the age of 25, or is it 26, can stay on their parents insurance, I think that will mean many more will be paying into the system, because the parents understand better than the 22 year old that bad things do happen.

I probably didn’t clarify well? I think what might be confusing is I start out on the way left position, but then when I can’t get it I shift over to the far right position. I am a capitalist at heart, I just don’t think health care should be left up to the free market, it’s an exception for me.

Nullo's avatar

I’d like to see Congressional salaries halved, and for them to maybe not make so many laws. Seriously, sometimes it seems like they make laws for the sake of making laws. This isn’t Nomic, people.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Nullo They make laws that are hard to abide by cause when people break them they have to pay fines and stuff. Money, money, money.

Nullo's avatar

@Dutchess_III Could I ask you to rephrase that? It’s late, which does wonders for cognition. :(

jerv's avatar

@Nullo I think she means that the more/stupider laws they make, the easier it is to break at least one, and breaking laws leads to revenue collection in the form of fines. At least that is how I took it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yes @jerv. That’s what I meant.
In this town juveniles are constantly arrested for minor, monor stuff that would have been overlooked in my day. They have to go to court, where they get a slap on the hand (which is what I would have gotten from a police officer in my day and that would have been the end of it) AND they get levied with a couple hundred in fines. I think it’s just a scam to get money for the city.

Nullo's avatar

@jerv @Dutchess_III Many thanks. In the wee hours of the morning, “they” and “they” look like they should be referring to the same entities. :|

I definitely agree. We had a mess here a few years back when St. Louis and some of the towns in the County started putting up red-light cameras into intersections willy-nilly. The public out-cried, the Riverfront Times published scathing articles, and in the end, nothing happened to the cameras.
I am fortunate enough to live in a city that apparently gets enough money by taxing its residents – the police are well-equipped and don’t ever seem to be implicated in speed-trapping. Also helpful is the fact that the downtown hasn’t been an exciting youth destination for some thirty years.

Ron_C's avatar

Having your medical insurance by your employer is a form of involuntary servitude. It is made even worse because a slave that gets sick is cared for by his owner. In our system, the fear if illness and injury keeps us in a job we hate then if we do get sick enough we get “lay-ed off” or fired and the insurance stops. The employer gets all the benefits and the employee gets the shaft.

Nullo's avatar

A direct theocracy. None of that mucking around with priestly intermediaries, just governance by the One who defines Right and Wrong. Who knows everything. Who is infinitely just, infinitely merciful, and thoroughly incorruptible.

JLeslie's avatar

@Nullo Meaning God Himself?

Ron_C's avatar

@Nullo and who will speak for god? I notice that god never really speaks to the general population.

jerv's avatar

@Ron_C Isn’t that funny? Chris Crocker can get millions of people to watch Leave Brittney Alone (four million hits in two days) and is actually on the low end of the totem pole when it comes to getting viewers, yet a being that created the entire cosmos in a week only talks to a few people in order to tell the rest of us that He needs money and hates gays?

Ron_C's avatar

I assume Chris Crocker is the creepy guy in the video and Brittney is Brittney Speers?
39 million people watched that crappy video? Well people slow down for car wrecks too. I could only watch about 20 seconds of it before I shut it off.

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