America is at a critical juncture to help all citizens regardless of party. The new House of Blue, the US House of Representatives, can have a historical impact on the American citizen. The most important aspect of this next year will be legislating for our protection as employees. This can be a difficult task for any Congressional member as the majority of their political contributions derive from corporations, the same ones that need to pay up.
The Blue Wave settlers will be creating, caucusing and promoting a very liberal agenda. Especially since there are now 96 members of the Progressive Caucus. That will grow even more as Democrats from suburban and urban districts commit to progressive influenced policy. Most of the legislation will be based on the increasing socioeconomic gap that some believe left the American Dream in the dust. We the people must demand that action for all Americans is taken in the form of regulating corporate America.
If this Congress wants to make history, it will need to force trillion dollar companies to provide healthcare and benefits. Yep, that’s what we used to do all the way back in the Teddy Roosevelt days. Monopolistic corporations like Wal-Mart that have a mass majority of their employees still receiving state aid, need to pay up. This Blue House of Representatives needs to force their political contributors to provide affordable healthcare and sick days.
Guidelines for Congress:
A company should split healthcare premiums with employees but it must be 5% or less a month than an employees total salary. A family living on the minimum wage in any state (since they are all still different) cannot afford $1,000 a month in premiums. Healthcare for an entire family-no more, “we only cover our employee”. The employee is a package deal. Make affordable healthcare an in-house ordinance.
Co-pays are the bread and butter of the healthcare system for citizens. Co-pays have dramatically increased over the past ten years making doctors visits economically impossible. Corporations and businesses must provide insurance contracts where co-pays are only 2% of the lowest employees salary. An employee making $12 an hour bringing home less than $400 a week should only pay $4-$8 for their co-pay. The same must be enforced for medicinal co-pays. First, generic brands must be available for any prescription written for any employee. Then if it’s not available then the corporation must pay the rest of the co-pay after the 2% is met. Fair must be fair.
Sick days and vacation days are very different. Congress needs to require that employees accrue paid sick time similar to that of Cook County, Illinois. In Cook County an employee accrues 1 hour of paid sick time for every 40 hours they work regardless of size of business. That allows full-time and part-time employees the ability to use the healthcare and a day off that businesses would provide. An employer that cares of your health cares for their business. Businesses spend an average $5500 on employee training so a day off is cheaper than retraining a new employee.
OSHA Funding Isn’t Our Responsibility
As taxes for citizens increase our protections have decreased namely in the funding of OSHA. OSHA cost American citizens $531.5 million in 2018 a decrease of $20.7 million. But why are we paying this at all? OSHA needs to be funded by a business tax, yes another one. Businesses are the main culprits of work related hazards so they should be paying a per employee fee. Their fines are not enough to fully fund a department made for their businesses. If every business in America paid a $3 per head fee to OSHA it could be nearly self-sufficient. According to Statista, America had 125.7 million employees in 2017. Roughly 25% of those employees are public sector. A little simple math would make this new fee a whopping $300 million to fund OSHA. The federal government would now only fund half of the expenses allowing that money to go to different department budgets. Say, that $300 million could really be used in trades education. Millennials and Generation Zs are seriously considering trades instead of education due to the ridiculous costs of student loans. Again, these trades jobs would then be part of the equation of OSHA funding while promoting a stable economy. The House of Blue needs to make smart money decisions that can have compounded positive effects on all future generations. Our legislators must look into the real future of America and quit governing just for today.
The Future Is Citizen Renewal
The suggestions will have long term positive effects on the economy. Just a scenario. An employee that had state insurance with the state providing all co-pays would now be corporate’s responsibility. That would leave a citizen and a state with more money to contribute to the wheel of capitalism. As the next recession looms, the states and the people must both have the ability to weather the storm without increasing the American deficit. We learned for the past 10 years that economic downturns don’t hurt just the little people, they hurt all the people.