Viewpoints: Delaware’s Gov. On Wisconsin’s Woes, ‘Immovable’ GOP, Mrs. Obama Vs. Rush
Politico: Wisconsin Stance On Unions Goes Too Far
I'm not the likeliest candidate to speak out on behalf of the labor demonstrators in Wisconsin. After all, my own relationship with the unions in Delaware has been a bit iffy since I took office as governor two years ago. ... I'm also sympathetic to the need in Wisconsin and other states to secure pension and health benefits concessions from public workers. We're in the same position in Delaware. What taxpayers fund for these benefits is certainly not sustainable. ... On balance, it's better for our state when unions have the right to speak out and to have a place at the table - when they represent those whose voices may not be heard (Gov. Jack Markell, 2/23).
The Washington Post: Can Chris Christie Handle The Truth?
I find (N.J. Gov. Chris) Christie's brash style refreshing. But we're so accustomed to political flimflam that, as Daniel Patrick Moynihan might have put it, we're defining truth-telling down. For Christie to be rhapsodized for saying we need to reform entitlements without adding that federal taxes will have to rise as America ages makes him a half-truth-teller at best. And half-truths are all we have from the GOP so far (Matt Miller, 2/24).
The Seattle Times: The Political-Overreach Pendulum
Public employees have long bristled at the idea of paying more for health benefits and taking furloughs and pay reductions. That sentiment and entitled behavior for many years is the reason Walker is where he is today. But Wisconsin's public-employee unions agreed to the money givebacks. This is no longer about balancing books; it's a mean-spirited power grab. Public employees don't want to forgo collective bargaining and they should not have to. In the new economy, private- and public-sector workers are accepting higher health-premium payments, furloughs and pay cuts. Where exactly are the correct lines? (Joni Balter, 2/23).
Kaiser Health News: Medical Liability Reform Should Be Real And Effective
In his State of the Union speech last month, President Barack Obama appeared to offer an olive branch to congressional Republicans and those who favor medical liability reform when he said, "I am willing to look at other ideas to bring down costs, including one that Republicans suggested last year medical malpractice reform to rein in frivolous lawsuits." One has to commend the president for addressing the issue, but there are some problems with his statement (Victor Schwartz, 2/24).
The Hill: The New Immovable GOP
Extremism has long held pride of place in Republicans' ideological pantheon. Whether it is eliminating the Department of Education, ending Medicare or outlawing all abortion, the GOP has long advocated positions that lie far from the American mainstream. ... Now congressional Republicans are on the verge of shutting down our government again. Their mantra - "no compromise." Our Founding Fathers, whom the GOP claims to idolize, sweltered for four months in Philadelphia while they made compromises - compromises on far weightier principles than Republicans are defending now (Mark S. Mellman, 2/23).
Fox News: Planned Parenthood Poised To Take A Very Hard Fall -- And It Should
All of a sudden, congressional appropriations that have gone unquestioned for decades may get zeroed out, and there is no better encapsulation of this than the fight over taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood. Simultaneously the crown jewel of the abortion industry and the abortion lobby, the liberal political powerhouse is poised to take a very hard fall (Penny Young Nance, 2/24).
The Sacramento Bee/McClatchy: GOP's Assault On Planned Parenthood Is Disgraceful
The Republican vote in the House of Representatives last week to cut all federal support for Planned Parenthood is a mean-spirited and reckless assault on women in this country. For millions of them, particularly poor women and those who have recently lost their jobs and therefore have no medical insurance, Planned Parenthood represents their only access to medical care. Three local Republicans voted for the amendment, Reps. Dan Lungren, Wally Herger and Tom McClintock. Shame on them all. Should the Senate concur and thankfully, that is unlikely women will die needlessly (2/23).
Kaiser Health News: After The Deluge: Health Reform Without An Individual Mandate
The end result could be that losing the individual mandate primarily hurts "red state" individual insurance markets, while blue states would enjoy more coverage and stability. After a couple years of that transparent dynamic, red states (and their residents) might be willing to gradually follow suit. While the absence of an individual mandate will certainly slow coverage expansions, it does not spell the doom of health reform (Austin Frakt and Kevin Outterson, 2/24).
The Arizona Republic: Now, How About Money For Transplants?
Arizona is deep in red ink, but legislators have come up with $5 million to buy equipment for the Pinal County Sheriff's Office. If they scaled that back by less than a third, they could restore funding for organ transplants that was cut off last year. Nearly 100 Arizonans were tossed off the waiting list for organ transplants when Gov. Jan Brewer and the Legislature cut off the money for certain procedures. ... there are ways to come up with the relatively small sum needed for transplant funding -- an estimated $1.4 million this year, boosted by a 2-1 federal match (2/24).
The Miami Herald: Pill-Mill Arrests Hit Right Target: Doctors Cranking Out Oxycodone Prescriptions
Law enforcement tested a promising antidote for Florida's oxy epidemic Wednesday doctors in handcuffs. Fifteen pill mills were raided in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties. A few oxy street dealers and a handful of clinic employees were arrested, all replaceable entities in the pill-mill business model. But five doctors were busted. Seven others "voluntarily" surrendered their federal license to prescribe narcotic medicines. Doctors, cranking out oxycodone prescriptions for phantom pain and fake injuries, are the essential elements (Fred Grimm, 2/23).
The Dallas Morning News: Eat Ribs And Be Healthy. Yes, It's Possible.
Mrs. Obama has made some on the right upset as she tries to prevent American children from becoming morbidly obese. It seems some view her campaign as a health blitzkrieg, the evil government trying to force Americans to give up french fries. ... Europeans show us that you can be healthy and still splurge from time to time. You can still enjoy eating. You can even eat ribs. It's all about moderation and being smart. Clearly, Michelle Obama understands how to be healthy. Just look at her. But Rush Limbaugh? Appearance would tell us he doesn't (Clayton M. McCleskey, 2/23).