Spring Vote 2024 Team Policy Options

The top ranked resolution will be used. Please rank your choices from 1-3.

Team Policy

1. Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially reform policy toward one or more of its insular areas.

The traditional map of the United States of America does not reflect the true shape of our country. The United States also has jurisdiction over Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, and a number of uninhabited islands. Some territories are even disputed to this day (such as Wake Island). In addition to these territories, the United States has a unique relationship with the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Palau. These are sovereign states, not technically a part of the U.S., but are still considered insular areas due to a special compact that provides them with U.S. defense and allows federal programs to be administered there.

Insular areas are the forgotten areas of the United States. They are often overlooked and neglected when public policy is debated. But 3.5 million people live in these areas, and are often negatively impacted by federal policies designed with only the 50 states in mind.

2. Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially reform the Federal Communications Commission or a policy under its regulatory authority.

The Federal Communications Commission is an independent federal agency that regulates communications such as radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable. This is an agency that doesn’t receive a lot of attention, but has a profound impact on the economy and social fabric on our nation. A 2012 paper estimated that the FCC directly impacted one-sixth of the economy, and indirectly affected up to 40%. Over ten years later, that number has surely increased with the rise of online shopping and cellphone usage.

The history of the FCC is fascinating. The story begins in 1927, with the first federal law regulating radio broadcasts. The FCC was established a few years later, to help enforce and manage the new regulations. Students will learn about some of these early regulations, including the “fairness doctrine”, which required radio and television broadcasts to devote airtime to matters of public interest, and to air contrasting views on those issues. While the fairness doctrine was eliminated in 1987, the FCC continues to regulate many other aspects of communication, including net neutrality, telemarketing, cable networks, and rules for new technologies like 5G.

3. Resolved: The United States Federal Government should substantially reform its policy on healthcare.

President Barack Obama campaigned on passing Healthcare reform (Obamacare) in 2008 and, after his election, supported congress in passing Obamacare on Christmas Eve in 2009. He made promises that Obamacare could not keep. Healthcare has continued to become more government controlled and our congress cannot agree on how to fix it.

The healthcare system in the United States is broken. Most healthcare insurance is obtained through an employer; some insurance is purchased privately. The government funds large insurance programs like Medicare (for those over 65) and Medicaid (for those under a certain income level). These programs were initiated in 1965. As for Medicaid, it is now the largest single payer of healthcare in the United States, serving 75 million Americans. We also have a different system for Veterans and some people simply choose to forego medical insurance and pay out-of-pocket.

This is a broad area for students to research and will yield needed understanding on this topic that is sure to affect every student in their future lives and is affecting their families now.