Well, so far we’ve seen both sides argue over the discretionary spending and very little was resolved. The gov’t is now considering raising the debt ceiling, which will no doubt send the markets in a tailspin. Law makers seem to be reluctant to go after the real problems that have been undermining the country’s ability to remain solvent and address emergency situations (can’t keep borrowing for much longer). So, here are a few “more aggressive” ideas to consider:
- Reduce the spend on Medicaid – reduce the reimbursement to HMOs (who need to reduce their prices and push back on unnecessary tests). Force US Drug makers to reduce their costs to US otherwise be prepared to open bid with Canada and other countries. Will eliminate the enormous spend on competitive products which flood the market. Embrace generic drugs and reduce the administrative burden associated with drug development. Introduce a bill to kill any drug maker who puts profit before patients. Same goes for HMOs and Physician Practices. They are all entitled to some profit, but they all signed up for the same ethical promise “Do no harm”. Put some teeth behind it.
- Reduce the the spend on Gov’t benefits (healthcare) for ALL employees (including Congress)
- Draft a plan to eliminate the pension for Federal, State, and Municipal employees in 20 years (requires a gradual reduction).
- Eliminate SS payout in 20 years (this doesn’t sustain folks anyway and encourage folks to put away a portion of their salary going forward).
- Eliminate Unions from all Federal, State, and Municipal jobs in 10 years. Unions have held up reductions in workforce for too long and constrain the ability to drive real cost reductions.
- Eliminate the Tenure system in education. Scrap no child left behind (the minds are being left behind and it’s hurting our abilities to compete). Eliminate the industrial model where teachers are the means for conveying a “prefabricated product” and position teachers as the STANDARD from which to deliver education. Eliminate the exhaustive and useless standardized testing taking place on too many levels. Stop the expensive practice of results-based testing, since the tests are not measuring knowledge or potential only the ability of any one school to prepare kids to take tests (waste of money). Eliminate the “class system” which separates the smart ones from those who are not. Encourage collaboration not competition in school. The results will be amazing and will prove far less expensive.
Unfortunately, this is going to require strong leadership and unification in thinking beyond the short term. These are 2 items that the country seems to be lacking on a multitude of levels. But, this can work and we are capable of building unity and strength in the time of crisis. The key is to act BEFORE the “tsunami” is at our feet !