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A student learns welding at a vocational high school in Massachusetts. (Photo: Emily Hanford)

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Vocational education was once a staple of American schooling, preparing some kids for blue-collar futures while others were put on a path to college. Today the new mantra is "college for all." But not everyone wants to go to college, and more than half of jobs don't require a bachelor's degree. Many experts say it's time to bring back career and technical education. This American RadioWorks documentary explores how vocational education is being reimagined.

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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

0 (0 votes)

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 |
A student learns welding at a vocational high school in Massachusetts. (Photo: Emily Hanford)

Ready to Work

Vocational education was once a staple of American schooling, preparing some kids for blue-collar futures while others were put on a path to college. Today the new mantra is "college for all." But not everyone wants to go to college, and more than half of jobs don't require a bachelor's degree. Many experts say it's time to bring back career and technical education. This American RadioWorks documentary explores how vocational education is being reimagined.

Recent Posts

  • 04.28.16

    “My Frain is Bried”: Shadowing a Student

    "Welcome to our world." Educators take an entire school day to shadow a student and walk in their shoes. We find out how it went for one teacher.
  • 04.21.16

    High School Job Prep

    Want a job? So does every student ever! Maybe career and technical education classes are the way to go. Shaun Dougherty says you could be more likely to graduate and earn more if you do.
  • 04.14.16

    How Tutoring Helps Students

    Private tutoring is no longer just for the rich kids. Our guest tells us how the individual attention improves student learning and graduation rates.
  • 04.07.16

    Is Advanced Math Necessary?

    In our last episode, Andrew Hacker argued that math courses like algebra are unnecessary for most high schoolers. This week's guest couldn't disagree more.