Our economy no longer produces entry-level jobs at salaries where most young people and many workers can afford private transportation. Fair, progressive taxes must fund essential public infrastructure such as public transportation.
Here in the Berkshires, there currently is no public transportation in the evenings and on Sunday, which is a growing justice issue. Too many people are under-productive and insolvent because they must use unreliable or unaffordable private transportation.
Public transportation must be provided both as an economic development investment and as part of a sound environmental stewardship policy, which gives more people the option of choosing not to use or be reliant upon a private automobile.
Public transportation is part of the jobs infrastructure that I describe and blog about on my web site.
No. I believe that Accountable Care Organizations are variations on the theme of managed care that has failed since they were first instituted in the 1960s. They are unproven. Why not move toward models that are proven?
I have lived in societies that have 'single payer' publicly funded health insurance systems that are comprehensive and that are expanded year after year. These systems cost less and cover everyone.
In places where health insurance is publicly funded, no one goes into debt because of health care costs, no one files for bankruptcy because of health care debts, and no one cites cost as a reason for skipping getting care when it is needed. People live longer and are healthier under such systems.
I led the effort in 2010, working with MassCare, to place a policy question on the ballot in the 4th Berkshire District that gave voters an opportunity to weigh in on a comprehensive Medicare-for-all system. Over 70% of voters voted YES. I will be their voice on Beacon Hill.
I testified in June of 2011 before the Joint Committee on Health Care Finance. It was in opposition to Accountable Care Organizations. I transcribed my testimony, along with some Q&A which House co-chair Steven Walsh initiated with me.
More on the subject of health care is on my web site.
Other parties' legislative leaders solicit and accept funding from corporate lobbyists and officers. Pam Wilmot of Common Cause has said that this money just "falls in their laps." The new opposition party with which I affiliate neither solicits nor accepts this money.
I have pledged to vote against confirming House Speaker Robert DeLeo in January 2012 and will vote against any legislation that benefits corporations at the expense of the health and infrastructure of our communities, which first and foremost includes ordinary people.
The first eight questions of the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance candidate questionnaire provide some excellent "good government" proposals, the answers to which I would like to share. Progressive and conservative advocates for these proposals are routinely thwarted by their respective legislative leaders.
(The 10 Key Values of the Green-Rainbow Party are Ecological Wisdom, Social Justice, Grassroots Democracy, Non-Violence, Decentralization, Gender Equality, Local Economies, Respect for Diversity, Personal & Global Responsibility, and Future Sustainability.)