Monday, October 6, 2014
Excerpts of recent editorials of statewide and national interest from Ohio newspapers:
The Akron Beacon Journal, Oct. 5
John Kasich maneuvered deftly to expand Medicaid, bringing health coverage to nearly 370,000 additional Ohioans with low incomes. The governor overcame resistance from fellow Republicans in the legislature by taking his request to a legislative alternative of sorts, the State Controlling Board. The move did not make the expansion permanent. The funding, more than $2.5 billion in federal money, expires in June, or the end of the current biennium.
That means the question of expansion will surface again as the governor and state lawmakers put together the next two-year state budget. Thus, the composition of the legislature matters, especially as talk swirls about Republicans adding to their majorities. Might there be, as it appeared a year ago, a majority of Democrats and Republicans at the Statehouse in support of the expansion? The federal government has pledged to pick up the full cost initially and then 90 percent in the following years....
The way state officials have sought smartly to coordinate the expansion allows for improved tracking of the health and care received by Ohioans who long went without insurance. Those steps invite both better health overall for communities and the potential for cost savings, as more people receive preventive care...
The expansion of Medicaid amounts to no less than one of the leading achievements for the state in recent decades. To take a step back would diminish the lives of many Ohioans and harm significantly the quality of life across the state.
The Marietta Times, Oct. 6
Remember the good old days, when all parents had to worry about was alcohol and marijuana?
Unfortunately, the list of dangerous drugs and the evils of alcohol have only grown over the years. Friday brought us news that a new "synthetic drug" known as Cloud 9 is popular in Michigan and Florida and law enforcement officials are worried it may migrate to the Mid-Ohio Valley. One thing's for sure, pushers are always on the lookout for new products that they can sell to teens and young adults looking for a "good time" with a quick high. Money talks in the world of drug sales and nothing speaks louder than a new product that's in demand.
The fast high from Cloud 9 can elevate heart rates, high blood pressure or even convulsions.
Bottom line, the people who sell this stuff don't have anyone's best interests at heart. They just want the money.
Meanwhile, parents and those enticed into using the drugs are left to pick up the pieces of their broken lives.
We believe communication in families is the key. Parents, know what's out there and what your children are doing. Teens, we know it's tough, but resist peer pressure urging you to be cool and use Cloud 9 or whatever trendy drug is out there.
It's a never-ending battle, we know, but it's one well worth fighting.
The Lima News, Oct. 5
Soda giants Coca-Cola Co., PepsiCo and Dr Pepper Snapple Group are getting together to urge Americans to stop drinking so many sugary drinks.
Well, sort of.
We're not talking about next year or the year after. It's a 10-year plan they're introducing.
By 2025, the beverage companies vow to reduce by 20 percent — a whopping 20 percent! — the number of beverage calories consumed per person in the U.S. The drink makers say they will focus on introducing lower-calorie products and smaller sizes.
The drink companies are facing pressure to find alternative products as soda sales continue to fall amid growing awareness of health issues among Americans. So, don't get the idea they're really concerned with reducing Americans' waistlines. It's more like they're interested in preserving their profits. This is the free market system at work....
The soda makers plan to market low-calorie offerings more aggressively. Susan Neely, chief executive of the American Beverage Association, said these efforts will "help transform the beverage landscape in America."
So, how about those big gulp cups at your favorite soda fountain?
The soda makers plan to attack fountain drinks with signs. Yes, they will add calorie information to areas such as vending machines and self-service fountain equipment to scare you away.
We should probably congratulate the soda companies for their promised efforts. In fact, we hope they succeed. However, we're always leery when the fox promises to guard the hen house.
The (Toledo) Blade, Oct. 5
Americans are rightly concerned about the spread of Ebola. This terrible disease carries the theoretical — albeit unlikely — potential of bringing to the United States the death and suffering it has caused in parts of Africa. But concern is one thing; panic is another.
The first case of Ebola diagnosed in the United States has been confirmed. It is troubling that Thomas Eric Duncan flew from Liberia infected with Ebola even though at the time he had no symptoms. Public health officials widely feared such importation.
When Mr. Duncan turned up at a Dallas emergency room late last month, he was sent home with antibiotics. He reportedly confirmed to a nurse that he had been in an Ebola-infected area, yet that wasn't shared with the treatment team. The lapse doesn't inspire confidence.
Mr. Duncan has been placed in isolation at a hospital. Health authorities are closely monitoring everyone known to have come in contact with him, including the ambulance crew.
The recent past offers encouragement: At least three American aid workers who were diagnosed with Ebola in Africa were evacuated to U.S. hospitals and survived. The danger of a widespread outbreak in the United States is likely to remain theoretical.
Nigeria is now reported to have contained its outbreak. On Ebola, the news is not all a matter for despair.