Please be sure to cite your referencesDISCUSSION POST #1:1) After considering both the reading and the question, I guess I could say I would repeal the ACA, but only in the sense of using it as a scaffold to build something better and then dismantling the ACA framework when it is no longer necessary. It is true that our health-care system was broken, and as Dye points out, the costs, access, and quality of care for many Americans left much to be desired. The ACA has helped with the access issue, but the system remains somewhat broken due to the costs, both in terms controlling and lowering them to a level where ALL Americans are able to acquire adequate coverage. On this point, the ACA also does not address the quality issue, as the insurance companies that were in play before the ACA are not only still the major players, but are actually even more empowered due to the act’s legal binding of individuals to private companies. This does nothing for the quality of care itself. In some cases, individuals actually have worse coverage than they had before because the cost of their previous plan rose to a level they could no longer pay and were forced under a legal penalty of fee to downgrade. The ACA should not be the end of health care policy, but should be used to leapfrog to the next kind of system, which would preferably be a universal, single-payer style that completely does away with the “middle-man” approach in regards to private insurance companies, offers top-quality care for all Americans, and at no cost to the individual. And if the constitution must be amended for this to happen, then so be it. This would cut costs in the long run and help lower inequality, as everyone would be taxed equitably to help fund the system and would provide a common level of care for all. Dye, T. R. (1972). Understanding Public Policy. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.2) In terms of lowering the national debt, the nation should adopt neither a “stimulus only” or “austerity only” plan, but should adopt a policy that uses both, with the emphasis on stimulus, as well as implementing progressive taxation. First, a major cost for the nation is the military budget, which, if slashed by nearly four hundred billion dollars, would bring us to the level China spends on it’s military. Not only has tax-payer money gone towards wars and weapons with a negative return economically and politically speaking, but it has been used to create goods and services that are inherently militaristic, which in turn demands some sort of conflict or intervention for those costs to not be totally wasted. This however only perpetuates the cycle of war and intervention we have found ourselves in, with more money going out than coming in, exacerbating the debt. For those who believe the U.S. should invest most of its spending in military, take into consideration that due to our technological and geopolitical advantages alone, a budget on par with China’s would still place us ahead of them defense-wise, and this does not take into consideration the other nations involved in NATO, many of whom have similar technological advances. Those hundreds of billions of dollars taken from military expenditures could then be placed into our infrastructural and public sector budgets, allowing us to modernize our roads, bridges, education, health care systems, etc. According to a 2013 study, only 4.3 billion is needed to modernize transportation and resource utilities, a drop in the bucket comparatively (ASCE). These investments would lower the debt in the long term, because the modernizing effort would create jobs and would cost far less to maintain once the modernization was completed. We would also have a healthier and better educated populace, who could then be in a position to keep the system operational while having the intellectual means to solve future policy problems. In short, these would be investments into the future of the nation, which would have a much higher return than the current system of a perpetual war economy. Next, a progressive taxation on the nation’s wealthy is not only a positive economic decision, but a moral one, and would save the nation billions of dollars that are  lost to high-risk practices and their subsequent bailouts. Furthermore, tax-haven and capital flight practices should be outlawed, as they also cost the nation billions for the sole purpose of private profit gain. Together, and over a period of time, not only would the debt be drastically lowered, but individuals would have more money to spend due to taxes not being squandered by foreign conflicts, they would be better educated and healthier, our infrastructure would be fixed, and our inequality gap would be closed to a tolerable and reasonable level, all of which benefit the nation as a whole. American Society of Civil Engineers (2013). “Report Card For America’s Infrastructure.”International Institute for Strategic Studies (2015). The Military Balance, 2015.DISCUSSION POST #2:1.  After reading Dye (Chapter 8) and reflecting upon the chapter.   In 2010, the federal government passed the Affordable Care Act.  This was in response to the increasing costs for American Health Care.  Understanding the readings, the issues with health care costs, would you keep the ACA, or repeal the ACA?  Why?  Remember to use examples and not anecdotes from Rush Limbaugh or Glen Beck.  I work in the medical field, and I would repeal the Affordable Care Act if possible.  I have seen the strain it places on hospitals, the staff, and the medical professionals first hand.  Individuals who did not have health insurance previously do now, and there is no increase in medical professionals, the result is a stressor on the medical system.  I have known doctors who have left practices for admin positions in the hospitals or moved to careers completely out of the healthcare field.  The cost of healthcare is continually rising, and we will never get rid of the “waste and inefficiency in Medicare”.  This system places higher taxes on the wealthy and taxes on the normal working man in order to cover costs for the poor.  As an example, my brother, a recent college graduate, had been removed from our parent’s insurance due to age, and had yet to find a career (he had a part-time job)…guess what, he had to pay penalties.  There are some good items in this bill though; I do appreciate insurance companies not being able to refuse insurance based on preexisting conditions and businesses being required to provide healthcare to their employees.  As with most government programs, the idea and thought are great, but the execution is poor.2.  After reading Dye (Chapter 10) and reflecting upon Bardach, please answer the following….In 2010, the Federal Government ran a $1.7 trillion deficit in the U.S. National Budget.  Today, in 2014, the national debt is $17.5 trillion.  This averages out to each citizen paying $55,000.  Understanding the different policies in Dye (Chapter 10), what would your proposed solution be?  Be very specific in your answer and make sure to use examples from Dye and apply the Bardach framework to your answer.  My proposal would be simple, spend less money.  I have wondered why our government has not operated with a balanced budget for years.  I am happy to hear many presidential nominees proposing a constitutional amendment that would require a balanced budget.  I would also decrease the large amount of funding we provide to other countries as aid.  I understand that the US should do its part, but I am a firm believer in fixing our domestic problems before trying to fix the world’s problems.  Finally, impose higher tax rates on those wage earners bringing in $1 million and above.  Every year, a new arbitrary number is thrown in to the air and is labeled the debt ceiling.  I am interested in seeing what comes in 2017.




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