In states across the country, a simple idea is building momentum.
Rather than amending the Constitution to guarantee that the winner of
the national popular vote wins the Presidency, why not simply amend state law?
As a new profile in Stateline.org
details, states are struggling to provide foster care for neglected and
abandoned children, increasingly turning to grandparents and other
relatives to care for them. 4 million children now live with relatives
other than their parents.
Some politicians have a simple way to deal with the challenge of
providing health care to the uninsured: cut the funding for those
currently receiving care and deliver half-rate care to more people. West Virgina and Kentucky legislatures both voted recently to cut benefits
for existing Medicaid recipients, taking advantage of a new federal law
that allows states to selectively cut benefits for different
In a Nation article right after the 2004 election, scholar James Galbraith denounced the long lines in Ohio
that prevented so many people from voting. "It is an injustice, an
outrage and a scandal--a crime, really--that American citizens should
have to wait for hours in the November rain in order to exercise the
simple right to vote."
In Indiana, critics are condemning
a rushed $1 billion privatization of the states' social services work
-- despite the fact that the companies bidding on the contract have
mismanaged similar contracts in other states and, more tellingly, no
one even bothered to determine whether the companies could do the job
cheaper than current state employees:
The Bush Administration's latest move on immigration reform is yet
another attempt likely to fail, at least in part because it ignored
input from the people most impacted. Stateline reports that a number of Governors
from both parties are upset both by the continued federal dependence on
the Guard and by the lack of consultation from the White House before
Bush proposed using National Guard forces as a stop-gap measure:
Americans are fed up with big money dominating and corrupting the
political process. Voters are fed up; community organizations are fed
up; even most politicians locked in the endless fundraising chase are
fed up. As Joel Barkin, our Executive Director, wrote last week for New
Hampshire's Union Leader, "Now is the Time to Tackle Corruption in Government."
Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) has a truly bad idea. He wants the U.S. Senate to adopt a bill (S. 1955)
that would gut state insurance mandates and allow for price
discrimination by insurance companies -- all under the guise of
lowering the cost of health care (note -- it will not actually lower
the cost over the long-term). More importantly, the bill punts on the
fundamental question: how do we achieve health care for all Americans?