Public Health

Combating the Opioid Crisis

The opioid epidemic across the United States must be one of our top law enforcement and public health priorities. Five people die from an overdose every hour, leaving children without parents, ravishing communities, and lining the pockets of drug dealers. Friends of Intelligent Democracy supports:

  • ● Limiting opioid prescriptions to prevent unnecessary access to addictive painkillers. For example, in Alabama there were 1 million more opioid prescriptions than the total population of the state itself.
  • ● Closing “pain clinics” that loosely prescribe painkillers like fentanyl and hydrocodone.
  • ● Holding pharmaceutical companies responsible for their complacency and negligence in perpetuating the opioid crisis.
  • ● Appropriating federal funds to local law enforcement agencies to train officers how to handle dangerous opioids and safely administer Narcan.
  • ● Creating easier access for all citizens to the life-saving drug Narcan that can stop the effects of opioid drugs.

Menstrual Equality

Every menstruator has a right to access products that make them feel comfortable and clean during their period. Years of gender and sex-based discrimination has culminated in laws that unfairly discriminate against menstruating individuals by taxing menstrual hygiene products and perpetuating a culture of silence around menstruation. The menstrual stigma pervades society and has led to a lack of action against menstrual inequity that is represented by the tax known as the “tampon tax,” lack of access to menstrual products in public restrooms, and unequal treatment in schools and the workplace. While several states have effectively removed the tax on tampons, the majority still tax menstrual products because of their categorization as “luxury goods”. Friends of Intelligent Democracy supports:

  • ● Ending the practice of the “pink tax” and the “Tampon tax” that unfairly drive up the costs of female hygiene products.
  • ● Installing free tampon and pad dispensers in every public school and government facility restroom regardless of designated gender.
  • ● Installing unisex restrooms in every public school and government facility restroom regardless of designated gender.

Paid Parental and Medical Leave

The United States is the only developed nation in the world without some form of paid maternity leave. New parents, especially mothers, have been forced to navigate a patchwork system combining unpaid leave and vacation days so that they can have the time to recover postpartum and take care of their newborn child. Paid leave is only available to those who work for corporations that permit it, which only 13% of Americans have access to. Such a system is unjust, and only reinforces a culture that makes parents choose between work and family. This inefficient system of maternal leave forces mothers to encounter systematic, long-term disadvantages in pay also known as the "motherhood penalty". Friends of Intelligent Democracy supports:

  • ● Granting 6 months of paid leave to each parent of a new child, newborn or adopted.
  • ● Preventing companies from firing expecting parents because of future time off.
  • ● Allowing that paid leave be taken to recover from domestic or sexual violence.
  • ● Using unpaid leave time to attend school events, medical appointments, and funerals.
  • ● Creating two weeks of full paid medical leave and two weeks of half paid medical leave for nonessential workers.
  • ● Creating unlimited paid medical leave for essential workers that become sick or injured while working.
  • ● Altering the Family and Medical Leave Act to include employees of small businesses and workers who may have multiple part-time jobs as these individuals are currently excluded.

Addressing Suicide

Suicide is one of the top ten causes of death in the United States. In 2018, over one million Americans attempted suicide, nearly 50,000 were sadly completed. Friends of Intelligent Democracy believes that the high rates of suicide in the United States can be prevented with effective systems to provide emotional and physical support for those struggling with depression, trauma, or continued abuse. We believe that the government must contribute annual budget funding to public programming and assistance to people who want to seek mental health services, as well as programs to seek out people struggling with self-harm ideology to provide them confidential and cost-free assistance and aid.

Lead Exposure

Social determinants of health account for nearly 40% of poor health outcomes in the United States. Amongst the social determinants, built environment has significant association with poor health outcomes including asthma, heart disease, and other chronic conditions associated with toxic chemical exposures. Lead exposure, particularly in underserved communities, has profound effects on health. Friends of Intelligent Democracy supports efforts to increase air and water quality requirements for residential communities and funding to improve the built environment so that no one must live without clean air or water.

Disease Study

In the era of a pandemic, it is increasingly clear the important role that epidemiology and surveillance efforts play in maintaining a safe, knowledgeable, and prevention-oriented society. The lack of funding provided to disease study and international surveillance of humans, animals, and environment in a OneHealth framework is largely responsible for the poor health outcomes we are seeing on an international level. Friends of Intelligent Democracy supports increased funding of professionals and programs that are oriented towards disease study and prevention in order to protect not only the citizens of the United States, but the citizens of the world.

Lowering the Drinking Age

Friends of Intelligent Democracy supports the lowering of the drinking age to 18 in the United States. The existing drinking of 21 does not inhibit adolescent drinking, but rather forces adolescent drinking to occur in unsafe, unregulated, and illegal ways. Lowering the drinking age to 18 encourages legal and safe drinking practices and helps induce change into the current system which perpetuates a culture of irresponsible drinking practiced by individuals in the United States as the result of the alcohol stigma

Preventing Drunk Driving

With a catastrophic rate of drunk driving accidents in the United States, preventative innovations must be a first priority. To combat these practices, Friends of Intelligent Democracy supports federal or state mandates to use inventions such as Ignition Interlock Devices which ensure that no individual under the influence can operate a vehicle.

Maternal Mortality Rates

The United States maintains one of the worst maternal mortality rates amongst nations of similar technological and medical advancement and capability. It is shameful that we as a nation cannot provide adequate care for the mothers of our nation’s future. The maternal mortality rates are significantly racially divided, with black women almost two times more likely to die in childbirth than white women in several the United States’ major cities, including the nation’s capital. To reduce the catastrophic rates of maternal death in the United States, Friends of Intelligent democracy recognizes an increased need for holistic, patient-centered maternal care from conception to delivery. As well, the field of health care delivery must continue to maintain and improve non-discriminatory practices through education and policy. Friends of Intelligent Democracy supports the efforts of health care delivery systems and public health professionals to reduce the rates of maternal mortality in the United States.

Feeding Americans

No American should be hungry or struggle to feed their family. Friends of Intelligent Democracy supports the expansion of food stamp programs to ensure that individuals and families across the United States sustain adequate nutrition. Unfortunately, socioeconomic status is not the only barrier to American’s being mal and undernourished; across the United States Americans live in food deserts and therefore lack access to stores and markets to get their groceries. Friends of Intelligent Democracy supports initiatives to ensure that there are incentives for grocery stores and markets to build in areas without food provision centers, in addition to the expansion of food stamp programs so that people can access these stores.

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