Viewpoints: Blame For Super Committee Mess, Supreme Court Recusal Is The Judges’ Call
The Washington Post: Don't Blame This Mess On Obama
[W]hat's clear is that committee Democrats moved awfully far in the name of compromise. They offered more in Medicare cuts than Simpson-Bowles did — or than Obama did with Boehner, for that matter — and accepted less in the way of tax increases than those two proposals. For their part, Republicans moved off their position of complete intransigence on taxes. Then they refused to budge (Ruth Marcus, 11/22).
The Wall Street Journal: It's Still Possible To Cut Spending: Here's How
We should also let states experiment with alternatives to our current one-size-fits-all federal solution. The best example is Medicaid, which should be converted into a block grant. Replacing federal matching support with block grants eliminates state incentives to attract additional federal subsidies, while allowing states to manage Medicaid more efficiently. Federal Medicaid costs should be capped at growth of 1 percent over the inflation rate (Glenn Hubbard, 11/23).
Los Angeles Times: Deficit-Busting 'Super Committee' Was Doomed To Failure
There were even more basic problems with the super committee. One was Congress' failure to recognize, understand or acknowledge that pretty much 100 percent of the deficit growth going forward stems from rising health care costs. Who says so? The Congressional Budget Office, for one, which has projected the federal share of those costs rising to nearly 10 percent of gross domestic product in 2035 from 5.6 percent this year. That points policy one direction: find a way to restrain health care costs without imposing undue burdens on the weakest and sickest members of society. A super committee devoted to that goal would have had a crack at creating a lasting economic legacy (Michael Hiltzik, 11/22).
Denver Post: A Blessing In Disguise
Be forewarned: For the next 13 months, we will hear with depressing regularity about the crude, blunt, draconian, devastating and quite possibly catastrophic budget cuts scheduled to take place automatically unless Congress reaches a deal to reduce deficits by $1.2 trillion. Ignore the warnings — or at least refuse to take them seriously. Given the utter failure of the deficit-cutting super committee and the wheel-spinning we'll almost certainly witness from Congress in 2012, those automatic cuts beginning in 2013 would amount to the most serious check on government growth in years. In light of the urgent circumstances, they should be welcomed (Vincent Carroll, 11/23).
The New York Times: Health Care And The States
In reviewing the constitutionality of health care reform, the Supreme Court said it would consider the legality of the Medicaid expansion included in the reform law. The question seems narrow, but it could have significant implications for redefining Congress's spending power (11/22).
Politico: Health Care Recusal Is The Judges' Call
A judge should not participate in a case if he or she was involved in it as a government lawyer. Kagan stated in her Senate confirmation hearing that she was not involved in preparing a potential defense of the law. But some internal emails that have been released indicate that she was at least asked about the question, even though she was too cagey to answer the questions over email and suggested a phone conversation instead. We cannot with certainty know what was said in her conversations (Tevi Troy, 11/22).
Reuters: George W. Bush: The GOP's Forgotten Man
Yet, what is perhaps most interesting about the collective amnesia that GOP wannabes have shown about the former president is that it's not just the man they want no connection to – it's his policies. The candidate's policy preferences reflect a stern rejection of many of Bush's positions. In 2004, Bush pushed through legislation to extend prescription drug benefits for Medicare recipients; today even the most supposedly moderate GOP aspirant, Jon Huntsman, supports a budget plan endorsed by Congressman Paul Ryan that would privatize Medicare (Michael Cohen, 11/22).
The Philadelphia Inquirer: Heart Screening Could Prevent More Deaths
Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death among American adults and student athletes. The conditions that lead to it are detectable and treatable, making these deaths very preventable. So why aren't we checking young hearts and saving lives? We screen our kids at birth – and often in utero – for dozens of rare genetic conditions. … However, the heart, arguably the most important organ in the body, is never screened (Sudman, 11/23).
The Philadelphia Inquirer: Doesn't Congress Know We Are What We Eat?
Congress was wrong to block new rules proposed by the Agriculture Department that would have overhauled the nation's school lunch program. In a fight that had more do with adults and big business than the best interest of children, lawmakers sided with the frozen-food industry and potato growers (11/23).