Viewpoints: Is Wyden-Ryan Medicare Plan A Game Changer?; The GOP And The Individual Mandate
The Washington Post: Healing Medicare
In the maelstrom of dysfunction and partisanship better known as the 112th Congress, it is always surprising and gratifying when lawmakers from opposing parties manage to work together. That is particularly true when their collaboration involves an issue as politically charged and substantively complex as Medicare. So we begin by congratulating Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) for having the tenacity to try again, with a revamped version of Medicare reform unveiled last week (12/17).
Forbes: Why Wyden-Ryan Is A Game Changer On Medicare Reform
(The new bipartisan Medicare and health care reform plan from Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden and Republican Rep. Paul Ryan) isn't perfect — no plan that can get through Congress will ever be — but it's likely to be our best chance at getting both parties to come together. If Democrats and Republicans can't agree on something along the lines of Wyden-Ryan, Medicare reform is dead. On the other hand, if it succeeds, Wyden-Ryan may turn out to be one of the most significant legislative initiatives of the decade (Avik Roy, 12/17).
The Lund Report: Tell Ron Wyden To Say No To The Privatization Of Medicare
Last time we checked, Senator Ron Wyden was elected to represent the tate of Oregon. Now that he's forged a dangerous Medicare compromise with the leader of the Tea Party caucus, we're not sure he remembers what state he represents. Here in Oregon, we like our Medicare just the way it is (Steve Hughes, 12/16).
The Wall Street Journal: Why Mandated Health Insurance Is Unfair
Should all Americans be required to have health insurance? ObamaCare said yes, and the issue is now central to the Republican presidential primary. Mitt Romney championed an individual mandate as governor of Massachusetts. Newt Gingrich once backed the idea too, egged on by several conservative think tanks, though he's now opposed. Its constitutionality aside (that'll be decided soon by the Supreme Court), is a mandate a good idea? (John C. Goodman, 12/19).
Bloomberg: How 'Mandate' Became Republican Candidates' Scarlet Letter
Absurdly, a central issue in the Republican presidential primary campaign is not so much the "individual mandate" for health care as which candidates once supported it. Individual mandates are a requirement that every person carry health insurance — self-paid, paid by an employer or paid by the government — and there is nothing heinous about them. What this dispute illustrates is the unflagging opposition that Republican politicians have for President Barack Obama, whose health-care plan features an individual mandate (12/18).
Des Moines Register: The Des Moines Register's GOP Caucus Endorsement: Mitt Romney Is Best To Lead
But more subtle distinctions apply to Romney on some major issues where he has been accused of flipping or flopping. He helped create health care reform in Massachusetts that is strikingly similar to the much-derided "Obamacare," for example. Yet Romney argues reasonably, though not entirely persuasively, that while all states should be free to experiment with their own reforms, it is wrong for the federal government to force a one-size-fits-all plan on the entire nation (12/17).
USA Today: Reduce Abortions, Realign U.S. Politics
It's political gospel that evangelicals are a solid Republican bloc because they vote only for candidates who oppose abortion. And on the whole, this is true — as they'll likely again show in the upcoming Iowa caucuses. But something's up: wiggle room. While evangelical opposition to abortion is firm, the evangelical vote is not fixed (Marcia Pally, 12/18).
Arizona Republic: Arizona's Spendthrift Days Are In The Past
In that spirit, the federal government should not shed its financial responsibilities onto states as it begins the much-needed process to trim spending. Likewise, Medicaid expansion under "Obamacare" remains the biggest long-term threat to Arizona's state budget and threatens to undermine our successes in reining-in state health care spending. I'll continue to lead the charge until this law is repealed by Congress or rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court (Gov. Janice K. Brewer, 12/17).
Des Moines Register: Are We Taking Medical Research For Granted?
The enormous focus on budget cutting that is permeating so much of today's political dialogue could seriously compromise America's historic leadership in medical research. Not only would such an outcome slow medical innovation and result in drastic, multibillion-dollar cuts targeting cancer, Alzheimer's, diabetes, heart disease and other major health threats, but it could also undermine the enormous benefits of medical research as a driver of economic growth (Raynard S. Kington, 12/17).
The Seattle Times: Health Care Improvement At Washington State And Federal Levels Calls For Courage
Elected officials seem to view cuts to social services as the only path to deal with our economic woes. Yet we all know deep cuts will only worsen everyone's health and cost us all more. The better and healthier approach would be to increase revenue — but that will take a great deal more courage (Charles Mayer and Teresa Mosqueda, 12/18).
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Progress On Infant Mortality, But Not Enough
Milwaukee made progress in the past year in its fight to improve the city's infant mortality rate, but lasting change will not be achieved unless there is more buy-in from the community. … The health of a city is tied to the health of its children. When a baby dies, it becomes our problem regardless of the mother's socioeconomic class, marital status or race.You can keep complaining about the poor, or you can use that energy and help find solutions (James E. Causey, 12/17).