Our listener, Aditi, reached out to me with two, you know, MINOR questions...
Admittedly, I'm a #crazymoderate and not always the best representative of the "conservative" perspective. But Aditi asked, and when our listeners ask, we try to provide our sincere responses. Here's my unedited response exchanged via DM on Twitter:
" Ok... Climate change. By government, I'm guessing that you mean the federal government. I thought the Paris summit was a healthy approach, especially given that creating a partnership with other countries around climate change will have positive externalities unrelated to the environment (this is a benefit to trade agreements, in my view, too). I'd like to see the federal government first be a vocal leader on sustainable initiatives (before mandating the same from other organizations). Phase I- every administrative agency goes paperless and focuses on other sustainable initiatives. In the process, the White House invites business leaders in for conversations on shared learning--what have you tried that worked? What didn't work and why? Phase II: the legislative and judicial branches do the same (the federal judiciary has made a lot of progress here; it would be great then to see the federal judiciary coordinating with states and local governments to share findings). All of this can be done very transparently so that businesses, state governments, and communities see the benefits and have a road map to follow suit. I understand that this isn't going to move the carbon emissions needle enough, but I think it could focus the conversation on climate change to the opportunity in green initiatives (instead of people seeing them as a threat to profitable enterprise, jobs, resources, etc.)
I struggle with federal subsidies for new energy sources because then we create issues like the ongoing support for ethanol. But I think that something like an annual federal science fair that highlights work being done to discover and harness new energy sources would be awesome.
On health care, I think the ACA was well intended but tried to solve the wrong problem. Health insurance is expensive because health care is expensive. Health insurance is necessary because health care itself is unaffordable. On that underlying problem, I think the ACA takes us backward. I also think it is unsustainable as a funding mechanism. I'd like to see federal legislation focusing more on transparency in pricing and on informed consent in the doctor-patient relationship. If you need a knee surgery, it should be easy to compare costs among hospitals and doctors. I should know what a CT scan costs before I agree to have it. I think this kind of transparency would start lowering process by creating some competition. You see this already a bit with programs at Walgreens and Kroger putting pressure on primary care physicians.
The second thing: I think it is important to get employers out of the insurance business. The exchange model is a decent idea that's more likely to work with more people in the risk pools. But with employees working with one landscape and the exchanges working with another, both are unsustainable financially.
I would repeal the individual mandate. I'm fundamentally opposed to the government requiring me to buy a financial product. And again, I think we should first work the angle of lowering the overall costs of health care.
Focusing legislative efforts at the state and federal level on fostering a healthier culture through things like family leave would, in the long term, I think make us a healthier society. So this is incomplete but a starting place."
To which Aditi responded:
I wish I could answer this question more effectively. I don't know why more GOP politicians aren't talking about healthcare and climate change. I think we have good principles to apply and good solutions and ideas to share. I hope after this awful, ugly election cycle is over, we can have more conversations about problems and solutions.
Thanks for the conversation, Aditi!