In a perfect political world, each side gets what it wants. Since that aint the world we live in, let’s work with what we got.
- Dems get their tax increases. This shouldn’t even be negotiable. The Bush tax cuts were woefully unproductive at promoting growth, but “amaaaaaaazing” at tackling on billions in new debt.
- Republicans get to raise the age of Medicare to 67. People are living and working longer. Until our culture is one that values rest, our policies address it in a language it understands.
But here’s the catch: In exchange for raising the age to 67, Dems get to invest in a National health and wellness program. The Federal task force would work with Governors, Mayors, and local leaders to create a reasonable contract with state-centered targets. We could have a quarterly public evaluation to provide accountability and keep the issue fresh — something like a national weigh-in for states.
The rationale is this: A government is not a business. Unlike a business, it has a responsibility to promote and protect the public welfare. But doing that isn’t free, and government must also be prudent in how it spends. This compromise, then, is an investment in both economic and public health.
The potential outcome is that we accept a national commitment — not one sponsored by independent organizations or non-state actors — a national one that unites us around the goal of reducing the number of incidences of avoidable diseases.
My opposition might dismiss this suggestion as too big a reach, or too intrusive a job for government. To them, my reply is: get over it. Government will be a part of your life for as long as you live. Might as well use it to help you live longer and healthier, so you can make more money — that it doesn’t have to use to care for you.