American RadioWorks |
Photos: Stephen Smith

Thirsty Planet

Scientists say most people on Earth will first experience climate change in terms of water -- either too much or too little. This documentary explores some of the most pressing water problems and some innovative solutions by visiting two countries where water issues are critical: India and Israel. A vast and ecologically diverse country, India suffers from water problems found across the globe: flooding, drought, pollution, and lack of access by the poor. In Israel, a combination of cutting-edge technology and sweeping government policy has largely solved the nation's long struggle with water scarcity. But the benefits of abundant water are not shared equally throughout Israel and the West Bank.

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in collaboration with Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity

Fund health care for everyone via a uniform tax

File under: health care, insurance, medical problems, funding, taxes

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From: Bea A., Tonasket, WA

Along with the latest depressing figures on poverty in the United States, this week we learned that 50.7 million Americans now lack health insurance. While poverty has many root causes, there's an obvious link between these two phenomena: the level of poverty and the lack of health insurance.

Many Americans can relate sad stories of medical expenses driving them into poverty. Colossal amounts of money are spent on health care in this country, while everyone agrees that the system has evolved into a confused, mind-boggling mess. Insurance (every type of insurance) is a system of shared risk, in which everyone puts money into a pool -- those who are likely to have a claim, as well as those who are less likely. Claims are then paid out of the pool.

The Obama Administration has tried hard to find a creative solution to the problem of the uninsured, but unfortunately, the latest health care bill is probably not going to be very successful. There's already a concerted opposition to the requirement to buy insurance. There were political reasons, of course, why it worked out this way; but it's easy to foresee the problems the mandate will run into.

It would go a long way towards mitigating poverty in this country if everyone was able to obtain necessary health care. And the only way to accomplish this is to create a pool of premiums. Instead of the requirement to buy insurance, the only practical solution would be, to fund health care via a uniform tax, similar to the Medicare tax.


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American RadioWorks |
Photos: Stephen Smith

Thirsty Planet

Scientists say most people on Earth will first experience climate change in terms of water -- either too much or too little. This documentary explores some of the most pressing water problems and some innovative solutions by visiting two countries where water issues are critical: India and Israel. A vast and ecologically diverse country, India suffers from water problems found across the globe: flooding, drought, pollution, and lack of access by the poor. In Israel, a combination of cutting-edge technology and sweeping government policy has largely solved the nation's long struggle with water scarcity. But the benefits of abundant water are not shared equally throughout Israel and the West Bank.

Recent Posts

  • 05.12.16

    Victims, not criminals: Rebranding teen sex trafficking

    The nation is changing the way it thinks about teen sex trafficking. States have decriminalized it for teens and offered help, and some are attacking the demand for commercial sex.
  • 05.12.16

    Numbers elusive when it comes to trafficking

    Estimating the number of human trafficking victims in the United States is notoriously difficult.
  • 05.12.16

    India: Delivering water by hand

    In much of India, getting enough water is a low-tech affair. In some places, women draw water by hand; in others suicide rates among farmers have risen because drought and dropping water tables make their lives difficult.
  • 05.12.16

    Israel: Using technology, engineering to cut reliance on Galilee

    Water has been a matter of national security for Israel since the nation's inception. Drought and growth have pushed the country to use desalination, wastewater recycling and other technology and engineering feats to address the demand. But it's a different picture where Palestinians are involved.