Viewpoints: Pawlenty Weighs In; Entitlement Reform Dominating GOP Politics
USA Today: Pawlenty: Real Change Is About Telling Hard Truths
"ObamaCare" is unconstitutional, and it is already driving up health costs - not reducing them. ... Government money isn't "free." ... And the cuts we must make cannot just be in other people's favorite programs. ... [This week] I'm going to Florida to tell both young people and seniors that our entitlement programs are on an unsustainable path and have to be changed (Tim Pawlenty, 5/23).
Los Angeles Times: Run, Paul Ryan, Run
If the election is going to be a referendum on his plan, maybe the one guy who can sell it should get in the race. On Monday, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor called for (Rep. Paul) Ryan to get in the race, saying, "Paul's about real leadership." If Ryan ran, he would probably drive the other candidates further away from his own plan while forcing them to come up with serious alternatives of their own (Jonah Goldberg, 5/24).
The Washington Post: The GOP's Medicare Headache
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the architect of his party's radical plan to turn Medicare into a voucher program, gave a lesson Sunday in stating the obvious: "I don't consult polls to tell me what my principles are or what our policies should be." I'd suggest that Republicans with less disdain for public opinion might want to check out the height of the cliff from which Ryan would have them leap (Eugene Robinson, 5/23).
The Fiscal Times: New York Special Election A Litmus Test For GOP
The future of federal fiscal policy may lie ... in a special election in a traditionally Republican House congressional district in western New York State where Democratic Kathy Hochul, the Erie County clerk, is hammering Republican Jane Corwin, a state Assemblywoman, over the latter's endorsement of a provision in the House-passed budget plan of Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., that would convert Medicare into a voucher program (Lawrence Haas, 5/23).
: Opaque Transparency From The Health Insurance Industry
The reaction of health insurers to the Obama administration's requirement that they start justifying rate increases of 10 percent or more was quick and predictable: "Not fair!" ... Insurers talk a good game about transparency - they say, rightfully, that doctors and hospitals should tell us how much they plan to charge us before they treat us - but the insurers have always resisted efforts to require more forthrightness of them (Wendell Potter, 5/24).
San Jose Mercury News: Prisoners Deserve Mental Health Care, For Their Safety And Ours
There is one place where mental disabilities are shamefully going untreated: in our jails and prisons. In 2006, the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics found that 45 percent of federal prisoners, 56 percent of state prisoners and 64 percent of local jail inmates have symptoms of serious mental illnesses. It's difficult for any human being to be housed in a 6-by-8-foot cell with another inmate. Add in segregation or solitary confinement -- where the lights are on day and night and you're totally isolated -- and mental balance is virtually impossible for anyone to handle (Charles Huggins, 5/23).