A nation is only as strong as it is healthy and smart as it is educated

This truth was once a hallmark of the American way of life, that we had the ability - and willingness - to help each other become smarter and stronger so we could advance together as a society. No longer does that mindset drive our national priorities.

world health organization healthcare rankings

Concerning healthcare, Medicaid and Medicare are present for America's elderly and least fortunate citizens. Yet the waste inherent to these programs makes them far more expensive than they should be. Today, we already pay more per-person for public health programs that only cover the poor and elderly than most countries pay to cover everyone in their society. If outside of those categories, either our employers or our wallets pay for private healthcare at the highest rates in the developed world.

As of 2016, the average family of four pays more than $11,000 annually for healthcare. If they're self-employed, that jumps to $17,000. It's worth noting that even at that expense, the World Health Organization doesn't rank American healthcare within the top ten countries by national average quality of care.

A similar story emerges with education. Although the United States spends more per-pupil than most other countries, the comparative value of this expenditure should please few. Our students have been underperforming in several areas compared to other countries, which risks our long-term economic competitiveness. Once graduated into college or university, while American higher education is still among the best in the world - it's also easily among the most expensive in the world unless you're a gifted student or athlete.

Combined with the fact that multiple degrees are required for employment in many industries today, the amount of money necessary to enter the workforce can often times cost as much as a house.

These circumstances carry direct consequences that severely burden our economy and workforce.

Skyrocketing healthcare costs make it more expensive for businesses to offer employer-sponsored care and hire workers. Skyrocketing education costs requires students to borrow progressively larger amounts of money, and the total student loan debt in the United States is some $1.2 trillion and rising.

These costs lead to an increase in the price of labor and services that is felt across our entire economy. The result? It often becomes too expensive to buy American.

It also makes it harder for Americans to start small businesses. It's enticing to go off on your own and build a new product, service or idea, but it's much harder to make that dream a reality with $700/month student loan payments on top of rent, car payments, healthcare premiums and other costs of life that are rising higher than the value of wages. It's even harder once you realize our tax code makes it far more expensive to be self-employed through higher payroll taxes. Consequently, what might have been an American innovation is instead replaced by a foreign competitor who is not burdened by such large and unnecessary expenses.

We refuse to believe these problems must be accepted as the cost of doing business. A society as advanced as ours should not make one's access to healthcare and education determinant on their ability to pay for it. We refuse to believe that these services must cost as much as they do presently - and we furthermore reject the idea that offering healthcare and education as a function of an advanced society is somehow “handouts” or “free stuff.”

In the past 10 years, the federal government alone has spent roughly $41 trillion, adjusted for inflation. Our national debt today stands at $19.5 trillion, respectively $500,000 and $250,000 for every family of four in America. We'd like to know what exactly our society received in return for us spending that much money, because it's crystal clear that special interests sure got a whole lot of “free stuff” paid for by our tax dollar.

Instead, we plan on paying for healthcare, education, Universal Energy and advanced infrastructure by ceasing to give special interests “free stuff” and instead give the American people what they paid for. As we all suffer from an unhealthy society, and as our republic suffers from an uneducated electorate, we believe education and healthcare are first-priority expenditures and will treat them as such.

We plan on accomplishing this goal through three specific areas:

Advancing Single-Payer Healthcare

Advancing Single-Payer Healthcare

We seek to implement nationwide single-payer healthcare via our proposed National Health Service. By replacing our immensely wasteful public healthcare programs with a single-payer system combined with boutique, high-end private insurance, we can bring healthcare services into the 21st century and free up huge sums of money that can be devoted towards making our nation stronger.

The United States is the only country in the developed world without a national healthcare program, and as a result our healthcare costs are twice those of other western nations. We aim to change that.

Focusing on Improving Education

Focusing on Improving Education

At the K-12 level, we support increasing school funding and subsidizing teacher salaries while holding them to higher performance standards. Alongside police officers and medical professionals, we also support lowering income taxes for teachers to make their jobs more affordable and attractive to new applicants. Just as importantly, we support decoupling standardized testing to school funding, and instead use them as a means of identifying school systems that need more help.

We seek to launch pilot programs to include next-generation technology and expertise from advanced industries in classrooms, which if successful, would be rolled out nationwide. And we support the establishment of federal boarding academies students could apply to and benefit from in non-traditional learning environments - be it special needs, at-risk/abused youth or students who demonstrate exceptional aptitude.

At the university level, we plan to increase public university funding while setting more stringent standards for academic admissions and administrative spending. While we consider public education a first-priority expenditure, we believe that money should only be spent on actual education. This means that public money will not go to build more football stadiums or give university presidents a raise. It also means that admission standards will be tightened so that only people who have demonstrated the responsibility to take their educational careers seriously will be eligible to earn a degree paid for by public money.

Part of our strategy is to encourage prospective students to work for a short time period in a company or in public service before attending university, helping establish the proper guidance to make the most of their education. We also seek to encourage working Americans to attend university and learn new skills to improve our economy. To this end, the Alliance Party intends to integrate advanced research and joint projects with American businesses into educational programs.

University degrees in America are among the most expensive in the world, and our public schools underperform compared to our global competition. We promote forward-thinking strategies to improve quality of education nationwide.

Advanced Research and Development

Advanced Research and Development

As part of our Government 2.0 model for public service, we intend to create a public Research and Development Service to make new discoveries that are released into the public domain for American businesses and consumers to build from, helping America stay on the cutting edge of technology and social progress.

There are challenges facing our future that pose questions we don't yet have answers to. This problem is defined by limitations we plan to solve through federal services dedicated to advanced research.

Up Next: