America’s Wake-Up Call – Joe Biden on the Issues

With just over five weeks left until election day, we’ve got a lot of ground to cover.  Today, we are talking about issues that matter the most to all of us.  Let’s face it, we need to stop talking about how awful Donald Trump is and focus on how much better Joe Biden will be.  It’s true that we must be concerned with voting Trump out of office before he turns this nation into a dictatorship, but it’s not enough just to throw out the bad … we must know what we are replacing it with.

There are dozens of issues that are important, but we really want to focus on the ones that are most important to everyone.  After giving it much thought, and narrowing the list, Jeff and I believe the following are of the most immediate concern:

  • Climate change
  • Health Care
  • Education
  • Racial Justice
  • Income Inequality

There are many other issues, such as gun control, campaign finance, immigration, infrastructure, the economy, criminal justice, and more.  But, given the constraints of time, we will focus on the ones that affect every one of our lives, and that have long-term implications that will affect not only us, but future generations – our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren in the future.  We will cover the first two today, and the other three soon.

Climate Change:

No matter how important the other issues are, climate change must, in the long run, be the most important.  Climate deniers may argue that we are being alarmists, doomsday prophets, but scientists have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that humans are bringing about their own demise every day. We can see the results with our own eyes – the worst ever destructive wildfires on the West Coast, the most active hurricane season on record, and record high heat & humidity in many areas.

Biden has made tackling climate change a centerpiece of his campaign, proposing to invest $2 trillion in a massive green jobs program to build renewable energy infrastructure.

The money, which would be spent over four years, would go toward energy efficiency upgrades, the construction of 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations and greatly increasing the share of renewable energy from wind, solar and other technologies in America’s power sector.

His plan calls for ending the use of fossil fuels to generate electricity by 2035. By no later than 2050, he would bring the country to net zero emissions of greenhouse gases under the plan.

Biden has also promised to restore all environmental protections undone by the Trump administration and rejoin the Paris climate agreement, committing to the pact’s goal of preventing global average temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius.

“Climate change is a challenge that’s going to define our American future. I know meeting the challenge will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to jolt new life into our economy, strengthen our global leadership, protect our planet … We’re not just going to tinker around the edges.”

Donald Trump, on the other hand, has unraveled nearly every climate regulation that was put in place by the Obama administration, in part because of his unrelenting hatred of President Obama, and in part because of his financial ties to the fossil fuel and logging industries.  Just yesterday it was announced that Trump plans to eliminate protections for the Tongass Forest in Alaska and open it to logging!  Joe Biden will not put profit ahead of the planet.

His administration has weakened limits on greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks, as well as from the oil and gas industry. It has opened more public land to oil and gas drilling and limited wildlife protections. And it has relaxed pollution regulations on coal-fired power plants in an effort to revive the dying industry.  Donald Trump’s actions, if allowed to continue, will ensure the end of the human and many other species by the end of this century.

California’s environmental protections have been a particular target for Trump. The Trump administration has revoked the state’s authority to set tougher car emission standards than those required by the federal government, placing a major obstacle in California’s path to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality.

I think Trump summed up his view on climate change when he said …

“People like myself, we have very high levels of intelligence but we’re not necessarily such believers. As to whether or not it’s man-made and whether or not the effects that you’re talking about are there, I don’t see it. I don’t think science knows.”

Need I say more?

Health Care:

When the Affordable Care Act was put in place in 2010 during the Obama administration, it was a historic step that provided affordable health insurance to approximately a third of the people in this nation who had previously been unable to afford it.  Was it perfect?  No, of course not … we all knew it would require adjusting and tweaking as time went by and problems arose, but it was a start, the first step toward a universal health care plan.  Joe Biden’s healthcare plan includes building on the foundation of the original ACA, as well as including an expansion of the public option.

Specifically, he would create a new government insurance plan to be sold on the ACA markets. The 2 million or so people currently stuck in the Medicaid expansion gap would be automatically enrolled, for free. Obamacare’s tax credits would be enhanced, pegged to more generous insurance, and eligibility for government assistance would be available to anybody. Nobody would pay more than 8.5 percent of their income on insurance premiums.  And nobody would be excluded on the basis of pre-existing conditions.

In addition to restoring and improving on the Affordable Care Act, Biden has a plan to lower prescription drug costs, starting with repealing the exception that prohibits drug corporations from negotiating with Medicare over drug prices.  Prescription drugs in the U.S. are, on average, 3.7 times higher than the combined average of other countries.  Think about that one … while someone in Canada might be paying $50 for a prescription, you are paying $185!

By comparison, Donald Trump has stated since before his election in 2016 that he wanted to reverse ACA in its entirety.  Since he has been unable to do that, he has instead undermined and chipped away at portions of it.  There is currently a case pending in the Supreme Court that would completely abolish ACA, and while Trump claims he will present an even better plan, there is no evidence that he could or would.

Coronavirus Pandemic:

No discussion on health care would be complete without addressing the coronavirus pandemic that has already taken the lives of more than 207,000 people in this nation, the highest death toll of any nation on the planet.  With a surge in cases predicted in the coming months, experts predict we will have more than 300,000 deaths by the end of the year.  Trump’s response has been “it is what it is”, and more recently he claims that the coronavirus “affects almost nobody”.  Joe Biden, on the other hand, has a plan.

On his first day in office, he plans to reverse the withdrawal of the U.S. from the World Health Organization (WHO).  He plans to call for a national ‘mask mandate’, and meanwhile urges governors of all states to implement mask mandates for their states. He would adopt nationwide testing and contact tracing, including doubling the number of drive-through testing sites and providing federal funding for “regular and reliable covid-19 testing for every worker called back on the job.”

He plans to restore the White House National Security Council Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense, which was established by the Obama-Biden Administration and eliminated by Trump in 2018.  The thing, though, that I think is most important about Biden’s approach to the coronavirus is that he plans to listen to the scientists.  These are people who have dedicated their entire lives to studying diseases such as the coronavirus, SARS, HIV, Ebola and other infectious diseases … they know what they are doing, and Joe Biden recognizes this, whereas Donald Trump says “I don’t think science knows.”

I realize that what I have written about Biden’s stance on these issues is necessarily somewhat vague, but to drill down to details would require far more than there is time for.  However, feel free to visit the Biden/Harris campaign website for further details.  Perhaps the biggest difference between Joe Biden’s plan and Donald Trump’s is that Biden actually has a plan, whereas Trump seems to wing it from one day to the next.  Joe Biden is a decent man who actually cares about the people of this nation.  Donald Trump is not and does not.

Next week, Jeff will be writing about the Supreme Court vacancy left by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and how it could affect the November election.  We will cover other election issues, as I mentioned in the beginning, in future posts, as well as numerous other topics … well, as many as we can squeeze into the next five weeks!


Note that in order to make it easier to find past articles, we have divided the Table of Contents into two — Discord & Dissension, with all of our posts from January thru May, and America’s Wake-Up Call, with our current posts.

Discord & Dissension — Table of Contents

America’s Wake-Up Call — Table of Contents

26 thoughts on “America’s Wake-Up Call – Joe Biden on the Issues

  1. Pingback: America’s Wake-Up Call — Table of Contents | Filosofa's Word

    • I didn’t see a plan, only criticisms of the status quo. And, while I would agree that right now, the healthcare/insurance industry is a disaster for many of us, ACA did actually help millions, myself included. If you take government out of it completely, the greed of the healthcare, insurance and pharma industries would ensure that most of us could not afford health insurance or health care.

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  2. Trump’s butt-sucker (DeSantis) in Florida just declared this morning that the state is open for business – restaurant and bars open at 100% capacity- while our cases climb and deaths increase. The anti-mask shoppers at my grocery and drug stores keep on glaring at me and my covered face. Trump has said that heat kills the virus. I know a really hot place where he could go. 🤣😎🤣

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, I heard about DeSantis’ stupidity yesterday and could only roll my eyes and wonder why the good people of Florida elected this jerk in 2018. There will be a hefty price for what he’s doing. Keep that mask on, Larry, and if the shoppers give you a look, give them 🖕

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  3. Jill, well done. Healthcare should be at the top of the list. Two key points.
    – Joe Biden at least has empathy and cares that 200,000 plus and increasing Americans are dying with COVID-19. The current president grades himself an A+, but actually made a bad situation much worse by not shooting straight with Americans then or now. He even put his most loyal fans at risk (and still does), but heartlessly before they knew it back in February. What kind of person does that?
    – The ACA, or at least the premium subsidies, may go away with a GOP AG led court case to be heard by SCOTUS in November. The court moved it to after the election, so as not to make an issue out of it for the election. We must make it an issue. In 2017, this president stripped away funding of subsidies to insurers to help people making less than 2 1/2 times the poverty rate with co-pays and deductibles; then he lied about what it did. It increased the deficit and raised premiums for others, as the insurers honored their commitment without the funding. GOP Senator Marco Rubio successfully led a campaign in 2014 (I think) to do away with 89% of adverse selection funding to insurers to tie them over for the first few years with a pent up rush to for health care, once insured. Then he bragged on it. In short, Rubio and the GOP Senators screwed Americans with higher premiums to win a political argument. The court case is here because the GOP led Senators eliminated the coverage mandate during a budget vote (needing only a majority), so the argument is without the mandate, the premium subsidies are not constitutional. The White House is not defending the law that covers 20 million Americans and requires protective features like guaranteed renewability and ignoring pre-existing conditions in all plans, including employer plans. Both are huge benefits to people.

    For those who do not know me, I am a retired benefits consultant and former actuary. The items in the second bullet can be easily be found through Googling. My former party, the GOP, has purposefully nay-sayed and sabotaged the ACA. If Americans want access to health care, the party who has time and again shown they do not want you to have it is the GOP. Your vote matters. The stunt Trump pulled these week with an executive order was just that. His actions speak much louder – and remember, he said he had a plan before the 2016 election. He never did and still does not. Nor, as proven in the summer 2017, does the GOP. Senator John McCain voted it down for a reason.

    Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Keith! You asked a question: What kind of person does that? A narcissistic person with zero compassion for others, one without a conscience, one who does not care one whit about doing the right thing, but only cares about his bank account. Sadly, far too many people either don’t see or don’t care what this person is.

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      • Jill, I don’t know if you saw Gronda’s new post, but I will have a short letter to the editor posted tonight. We must make this about healthcare. The SCOTUS appointment begs this significant differentiation between the two parties. Taking health care access away is bad enough in a vacuum, but amid a pandemic (and yes, Mr. Trump it will be with us for awhile), is asinine. Dems should rally around this as it is that important. Donald Trump must be soundly defeated as well as a few Senators. I know he can win, but he should not. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’m about 2 days behind on most everything at the moment, so I had missed Gronda’s post and yours. I did just now go read your post and left my comment there. I agree … he should not win. Today’s polls are positive, with Biden having a fairly solid lead, but … remember that the polls were firmly in favour of Hillary to win in 2016, so I’m not sure how much trust we should put in the polls. Sigh.

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    • It seems to me that the ones who cannot … or will not … see, are the ones who have only their own self-interest at heart. Those of us who care about the planet, care about those who are less fortunate than us, care about making the world a more equitable place … we do see it. But those who only think about their own ‘happiness’, their immediate desires, are the ones who will doom us all if given half a chance. xx

      Liked by 5 people

  4. Hi Jill, you would think citizens would vote Biden just on climate change alone, b/c breathing is not an option.
    As for ACA, Dems are still beholden to Big Pharma and the Medical Industrial Complex, they along with Repugs get millions in campaign contributions (bribes) every election year.
    If Dems were really serious about universal health care, they would have rallied behind Bernie Sanders. But the opposite occurred, as Obama conspired with the DNC to sandbag Bernie yet again… the rest is history.
    Biden undoubtedly will become our next President (thank god) but we certainly will not see free healthcare in our lifetime, if ever.
    If Biden is willing to work with the Progressive arm of the party, then alternative green energy will be promising if he meant what he said about saving the Earth… once again i won’t be holding my breath, but there’s always hope. 😉

    Liked by 3 people

    • Unfortunately, Bernie’s ideas would never have flown even if he had won by a landslide. Thing is, Universal Healthcare will be achieved only by small steps, one thing at a time. Radical change raises people’s hackles and they rebel. Far better to make baby steps than no steps at all.

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      • Problem with politics, one step forward two steps back. That’s why nothing of significance ever get done by the gov’t.
        When polled about universal healthcare for all, both ppl on the left and right support it.
        It’s the politicians who are bought and sold out to medical establishment, they’re the ones who sabotage any program benefiting people.
        Most recent example- Cares Act: trillions for corporations, bank bailouts, airlines, cruise ships, and $1200 for the rest of us. 😦

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  5. Biden’s plans may be faulty but at least they are plans.Plans intended to bring about the betterment of the citizens of the United States and in partnership with the rest of the world the betterment of the human race and the planet. Much better too have a president who has a vision of the future and how it can change for the better than to have one whose only interests are profit and self glorification like the current destructive holder of that office.
    Hugs

    Liked by 4 people

    • Exactly! No plans are without flaws, and there is always going to be some obstacle that wasn’t anticipated, but the starting point is to have the right motivation, in this case the best interests of the nation, the people, and indeed, the larger world. Let us hope that change is in the near future, for if it isn’t … I see an end to the human species, an end to the world as we have known it.
      Cwtch

      Liked by 3 people

  6. Reblogged this on On The Fence Voters and commented:
    Today, Jill continues our focus on the 2020 election with a look at some of the most important issues facing us in this presidential campaign. Time is of the essence, with less than forty days to go until America gets to decide who will lead our country for the next four years. We think the choice is clear. Some, however, may not be so inclined to agree. We hope to help as many people as we can understand the stakes, as well as the issues we face going forward. Thanks Jill!

    Liked by 4 people

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