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propositions that pertain to the policy-making process. After that, these propositions are to be tested. The author of this response will offer these three propositions, and the rationale behind them, one by one. The first proposition is that policy-making should be based less on simply facets of compassions and "fairness" and more on the results that would be garnered. A lot of people, for example, say that welfare was an absolutely needed lifeline for people while others say that allowing welfare-usage in perpetuity is a bad thing. Second, it should be questioned whether extensions of government health programs (e.g. ObamaCare) actually contribute to their usage (or, more importantly, over-usage and abuse) or if the aggregate results is good overall. Third, the question should be asked whether legislative mechanisms like the filibuster hurt or harm the overall process.
As for concerns about compassion and fairness, the author of this author posits that these discussions noticeably detract from the overall quality of the debate and ensuing results because some people have very stunted perspectives and/or offer theories that are simply devoid of logic. The act of pandering while advocating for legislation is the habit of many politicians and these folks making it fairly obvious that they are doing exactly that is a problem and it is more of a problem than the vitriol that comes from many corners from know-nothing nobodies, such as was mentioned by Hacker (2010). Public policy making should be based on bring the most good to as many people as possible and not as a way to "get even" or score political points and despite what Hacker says, going about policy reasonably and scientifically is a lot better than what led to ObamaCare and Hacker seems to be aloof about that. Studies and summaries like the one done by NYS Health Foundation (2009), while not impervious to bias and political agendas, should be the way to go.
As for the second point, this is not one of the examples given for the next section but it's a great example, that being the repeated extensions of unemployment. Even during a nasty recession, a person not being able to find a job for 99 weeks (nearly two years) is a bit perplexing. Rather than public policy makers drilling down on whether it truly is that bad out there, they often de-evolve into saying it's "heartless" or a "drain on the economy" to extend unemployment benefits. The question becomes when unemployment (and you could make the same argument for welfare) goes from being a social safety net to being a subsidization of bad behavior. Zedlewski's (2012) statement that TANF is the only means-tested safety net program is jaw-dropping. Aside from obvious "return on investment" programs like Medicare and Social Security, that should be the exception and not the norm. The same should not apply (at least not wholly) for things like unemployment and disability. There needs to be a provable need before benefits and there need to be very defined limitations.
Third, it has to be asked whether the act of the filibuster is helpful or hurtful. On a similar tangent, ramming things through with suspect leverages, such as what happened with ObamaCare, does prove that the process can be abused but removing all such provisions and leaving everything to a popular vote is probably not a good idea and the author of this response will prove it.
As for the first proposition, welfare form and its ensuing results prove that looking at what is truly going on and reacting in kind with proper policy is the way to go. This is echoed by Sabatier (2007), who says that each policy framework should be supported and validated by proven scientific theory. ObamaCare is quite the opposite. For example, the "crown jewel" and linchpin of that legislation was to have been the "individual mandate" to buy health insurance. The problem with that provision, even though it has so far survived Supreme Court scrutiny, is that the fine for not buying coverage is demonstrably less than what it was cost to buy a policy on one's own. It is true that this may (or may not) be the case for people that have the option to get employer-based insurance and simply choose not to do so, but the problem as trumpeted by PPACA proponents is that many employers either do not offer coverage or they make it…[continue]
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