Healthcare should be a right of every citizen in the wealthiest nation on the planet. Until that becomes a reality federally, the Young/French administration believes we can accomplish that at a state level. It is the duty of government to support the general welfare of its citizens. All Kentuckians should have access to mental health, dental, and vision coverage. Our citizens are happiest when they're healthy.
Healthcare shouldn't be tied to your employment. When in between jobs, or temporarily out of work, a person shouldn't have to shell out the majority of their income to sustain some form of health coverage through the COBRA program. They also shouldn't have to face financial hardship during those same circumstances for having a health procedure performed. There should be no added stress to the already stressful situation of losing an income. Without healthcare being tied to employment those worries disappear and coverage remains the same.
This also benefits businesses immensely by freeing up capital that would be used to otherwise secure health benefits for their employees. Businesses will then have more money to increase the wages of their employees, adding other economic benefits. It's a Win-Win scenario for Kentucky.
This state-wide healthcare program will be funded by raising taxes on millionaires and billionaires. A small tax will replace insurance premiums, and the total annual cost will be less than most current insurance premiums. In addition to this revenue, taxes collected from the sale and distribution of cannabis and legalized gambling will contribute along with a small business tax based on the number of employees. This tax, as with the personal tax, will be smaller than the premiums businesses currently pay to provide health insurance benefits to their employees, and frees them from the burden.
The medical community has been very clear in their findings on the benefits of the cannabis plant to its consumers. We believe it only moral and ethical to fully legalize the cannabis plant with only an age usage restriction in effect for recreational use, as alcohol currently is, however with the age of legal recreational use being 18, at adulthood. With the prescription of a licensed medical physician, and under their supervision, there will be no age restriction. As economist Milton Friedman said, " the government has no more right to tell me what I can put in my mouth than it has to tell me what can come out of it." Liberty demands legalization, and we believe adults are capable of making their own choices regarding their bodies.
The legalization of cannabis would also reduce opioid dependency and overdose deaths, according to statistics from states where legalization has occurred. That means less heroin, fewer pills on the street, and money saved in criminal justice costs. Not to mention the lives saved. There is no measure of cost to the loved one of an addict. This measure alone would have a drastic impact on our veteran community in the state, where we lose 22 veterans a day nationally.
This change in system (removing inflationary insurance companies as middlemen) and increase in revenue sources (cannabis, gambling) will result in better, faster, more complete treatment of ALL Kentuckians at a lesser cost than currently. Truly no one will be left out of the program who is a citizen of this state.
This program can be achieved with enough political will and popular support. Citizens of Kentucky have a chance in 2019 to use their money effectively for their benefit. Let's stop the copays, out of pockets, deductibles, yearly maximums, etc,. Let's stop criminalizing a medicine and the people using it. Let's get Kentucky healthy.