We have major infrastructure needs in many sectors in the United States. The potential impact of a failing public health infrastructure should alarm us and drive action. We can't predict when the next outbreak, epidemic, or disaster will occur, but we can guarantee that it will take place. The question is whether we will work to fortify the public health infrastructure now or deal with the consequences later.
President Obama begins his seventh year in office in good position. At this point in his eight-year term, the unemployment rate is a) lower than Reagan's at the same time; b) lower than Romney/Republican targets for the end of 2016 and St. Ronnie's for his entire term; c) Medicare is now solvent at least through 2031; and, d) ~10 million more people are covered by health insurance.
A popular proposal in Washington right now: "Fund infrastructure through corporate tax reform." Unfortunately, this is Washington/corporate-speak for letting companies off the hook for most of the up to $700 billion they owe on corporate profits they are hoarding "offshore" if they let us use a little bit of it for infrastructure.
Instead of making a "deal" on deferment and letting the corporations just keep this money they owe us, let's fix this loophole and give most of this tax money to the 242 million adult U.S. residents. What's left over (and there might be a lot -- as much as $215 billion) can be used to fix our infrastructure and other priorities.