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About Jman22

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  1. Hi all, I feel issues are becoming more and more partisan to the detriment of our country leading to gridlock or passed legislation inevitably to be reversed later. Strict voting along political lines with no compromises built in to the bills. The only way major political bills seemed to be passed is if they are won by a (recently very slim) majority. This is somewhat counteracted by the 60% vote required in senate (to invoke cloture), but when one party controls 60% or more, the issue remains. Per the below charts, we can see partisan voting has greatly increased over the years. If representatives from both aisles are not willing to work together anymore to generate meaningful longer lasting legislation or any meaningful legislation at all, can reform force them to play together? I'm not aware of any such movements, but I was thinking, what if there was a law, and it could be percentage based on party rule, to mandate at least x amount of yes votes from the non ruling party? For example, suppose in the senate Dem control 65% and GOP 35%. Because GOP is at 35% then all bills must have at least 3 GOP yes votes to pass. If a GOP sponsored bill is proposed it would already have to be bi-partisan in nature to have a chance passing with the Dem majority. An argument here is that it could lead to more gridlock, but on the other hand one could say, by mandating sponsorship from both sides, the bill should always be formed in a bi-partisan manner to begin initially. Another argument could be that it takes away the advantage of controlling the majority, though still I feel the majority would have the upper hand as the non ruling party would have to secure so much more ruling party votes. Thoughts? http://www.realclearscience.com/journal_club/2015/04/24/political_partisanship_in_three_stunning_charts_109196.html Thanks, J
  2. I really want to believe a single payer system can be accepted in America. And I want it to work. I really hope California or some other state can somehow figure it all out and be the example and envy of other states for this. But I don't see it being accepted due to the backlash from employees and employers on costs needed to fund or if costs / fee structures get negotiated down to other country levels, backlash from doctors/pharma/etc as a result of being negotiated down, and or backlash from insurance companies for the reduced role that they will play. Perhaps in the past okay but now the impacts seem to great to too many people to be accepted no matter what is chosen and we will just have to muddle along. You raise good points but I do think ultimately doctors will take price cuts. Doctor salaries in other countries are typically much less than here because of this negotiation component. This is to prevent unfair rates and I agree is a good idea to have. But now that they have spent those years and loans in school, will be hard pressed as anyone would to take a cut at this point. Of course perhaps if they did not have to pay copious amounts of loan debt would be a different story, but unfortunately we are not able to turn back clock to introduce a free tuition for all program earlier on. Regarding relationship of lobbying, I too arrived to the same conclusion previously and joined a movement called movetoamend which addresses this at the constitutional level. This is very important in its own right, but ultimately I believe if enough Americans shout, there is a mind shift, and a tipping point is reached, an approach will be pushed through regardless of the corporate control on government. I am more interested now on advocating an approach that has a chance to be accepted but have not been able to find one.
  3. Hi everyone, Does anyone else feel that the healthcare problems in America won't ever be realistically resolved at this point? By healthcare problem specifically I mean the low ranking healthcare system we have when compared to other countries. Resolving via single payer system (including variant models of CA, FR, GER, JP) - as long as it's so expensive to fund, in my opinion it will not pass any state or federal legislations here. But why so expensive? Leads to note below. Regarding fee negotiations - services, doctor fees, and drug costs are negotiated lower in other countries. But to achieve such costs here that means doctors and other entities here would have to take pay cuts and probably large lay offs. There will be too much push back. The best here I can see that can be done is something like Maryland where some regulation is in place to monitor increased price gouging and the continued push for regulation / competition of prescription drugs, but those are not huge gains. At this point, I can't even find a realistic approach to advocate which I think would allow us to compete with a respectable healthcare system. Are we, for the most part, stuck? Thanks, J
  4. Correct, as long as lobbying is legal, politicians can be bought by big pharma companies. Reducing probability of any meaningful legislation to pass such as ones which you have proposed. Because they feel they need the big campaign contributions to fund and win their next elections, they spend more than 50% of working hours fund raising and not writing or reading legislation. So, what is everyone's opinion on resolving at a constitutional level first? What is everyone's take on https://movetoamend.org/wethepeopleamendment ?
  5. Agree on the potential constitutional amendment comment. Also the FDA is probably not as efficient as it should be further contributing to this predatory pricing situation. What's clear is that big pharma companies like Phizer have a 42% profit margin so the current FDA setup is clearly in their favor. So, whatever is introduced through legislation pharma companies will use their lobbying power to full extent to allow them to continue the predatory pricing practice. So, again it comes down to me the influence of lobbying on the government. While there are anti corruption acts out there being advocated, here is the thing. Lobbying is constitutional acceptable as mentioned. Because constitutional acceptable, companies may sue and challenge any passed laws as unconstitutional. For example the citizens united vs fec in 2010 ruling campaign contributions as a right of free speech for corporations. So, I did some research into any movements to amend the constitution so that corporate lobbying is included and addressed. Has anyone heard of https://movetoamend.org/wethepeopleamendment ? What is your take on this proposed amendment?
  6. Is Trump Keeping His Promises?

    Yes I've been mulling this over recently too. Would be great to always track and hold politicians accountable by pointing back to such a source. Also fwiw, it looks like we have the ability to recall elected officials (more directed towards our representatives) in a recall election. Not common but it does happen. Below are a list of processes and instances. http://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/recall-of-state-officials.aspx#Process Regarding the laughingstock comment, funny thing with that. President Trump during his campaign constantly said we were the laughingstock. Well, he was right, but never for any of the reasons he cited. I've spent quite some time abroad as well and we are laughed at not because we are being taken advantage of or what the President was saying, but because people think we are stupid, obese, and have no culture. We can't get our healthcare right, we shoot each other, die from eating too much, suck at math/sciences,etc. What gets me is, what happened to the American spirit? The strive to be number 1? Well we are anything but number 1 in terms of those areas. Anyway I always thought that was interesting.
  7. "Lobbyists often bribe with more than money ... Often there is insider trading information provided. Land deals. Under-the-table remuneration. It is all difficult to prove and must be ended, preferably by Constitutional Amendment." I think that is the part I find must difficult to plan against. We can come up with limits or even outright restrict contributions in a completely public funded model. But how do you stop under the table dealings through intermediaries and go betweens. Still, I think the current system forces most politicians to take big corporate contributions so that they may build campaign funds to win. This is why they spend most time fund raising. If that can change, at least it's a start in the right direction systematically.
  8. Hi everyone, I am looking to advocate healthcare cost reform in my spare time but want to do so in the most effective way possible. Our basic healthcare costs of prescription drugs and services are out of control compared to the rest of the world indicating a strong case for price gouging. And to me this topic can be separated from advocating universal healthcare discussions. Now, what I found is that there are actually numerous bills over the years both GOP and Dems that would cut healthcare costs. For example, Bernie Sanders prescription drug affordability act of 2015. But as you can see from link https://www.opensecrets.org/news/2017/01/a-senate-vote-on-prescription-drug-price/, these types of bills will always be blocked by politicians who have been bought by the Big Pharma lobbyists. Keeping in mind that we have a congress bought by corporations who in this case would fight tooth and nail for their bottom line and not American's healthcare I see the following options to advocate. .1. Fix lobby problem via Anti Corruption Act - by limiting the influence of lobbyists, effective healthcare bills have a better chance to pass. .2. Fix lobby problem via public campaign funding - if a system is properly setup to where all campaign funds come from a public fund and zero from donors/groups/corporations/etc (no influence), then effective healthcare bills have a better chance to pass. .3. Raise awareness of lobby bought politicians blocking effective healthcare bills - by getting Americans to raise voice against who is blocking affordable healthcare, effective healthcare bills have a better chance to pass. .4. Advocate citizens to call representatives on effective healthcare bills - by getting Americans to raise voice in support of good policies, effective healthcare bills have a better chance to pass. .5. Back a representative who advocates your agenda - by helping a representative get elected or re elected who supports my agenda, effective healthcare bills have a better chance to pass. .6. Advocate a campaign promise tracker - by advocating a method where citizens hold representatives to their campaign processes, such as healthcare costs, effective healthcare bills may have a better chance to pass. What do you think would be the most effective approach(s)? Thanks, J
  9. Is Trump Keeping His Promises?

    Found a kind of campaign promise tracker fwiw http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/
  10. Thanks! Might be posting a few more threads shortly. Yeah, I don't think this happens as often as the bill for campaign funds exchange, but wonder how it could be avoided in an environment where campaign fund influence is out of the picture. Oh well can only do so much I suppose.
  11. Hi everyone, new to the site and had a few questions. Will start with the following. Thanks! Suppose I am a politician representing say 1 million people in my district. One day a big special interest group leader comes to my office in DC and says, if you can present and pass this bill, I can guarantee that my followers who represent 25% of your district total population will vote for you next election. Then the special interest group leader goes to other members of congress and says the same thing until confident that the bill will be presented and passed. The bill does not benefit the general voters and only benefits the special interest group leader and his friends. In this scenario, no gifts or monies or campaign contributions were given. Only a pledge of future voters. The politician should send away the special interest group leader and focus on legislation to deliver on his campaign promises, but instead he drafts the requested bill and tries to pass it. What type of rules would deter this scenario from occurring in a representative democratic system? Again, no gifts or monies or campaign contributions were given. Only a pledge of future voters. The only thing I can think of, if an investigation were to find these situations to be regularly occurring, is to appoint an independent committee to review each drafted bill to catch and penalize in these scenarios. Thoughts? Thanks again, J