Excerpts of recent editorials of statewide and national interest from Ohio newspapers:
The (Toledo) Blade, Jan. 21:
Think of it as unlocking the value of Medicaid: 450,000 more Ohioans with health insurance, representing a net revenue gain of about $1.4 billion to the state over eight years. The only way to lose is for Gov. John Kasich to say no to expanding Medicaid coverage under Obamacare.
Ohio's Medicaid program covers adults with children, whose household income is 90 percent or less of the federal poverty level; it does not insure childless adults. According to the Health Policy Institute of Ohio, a nonpartisan think tank in Columbus, it would cost Ohio nearly $2.5 billion to expand Medicaid coverage by 2022 to include all adults with incomes up to 138 percent of the poverty level — about $32,000 a year for a family of four.
Under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government would pay the entire cost of Medicaid coverage for newly eligible adults for three years. The federal share would then drop gradually, leveling off at 90 percent in 2020....
Mr. Kasich's skeptical political side asks whether Washington will keep its promise to pay for expanding Medicaid in Ohio. But his pragmatic business side should not pass up billions of federal dollars and a healthier Ohio.
The Ironton Tribune, Jan. 17:
Far too often our government leaders and lawmakers try to "fix" all our perceived problems in a particular area in one fell swoop, an approach that is actually flawed and impedes progress....
Now here we go again with proposed anti-gun legislation. The president unveiled a $500 million package that includes 23 executive orders but will also require action by Congress.
Some of the proposed changes make perfect sense — consistent background checks regardless of where a firearm is purchased and allowing schools to use federal grant funds for safety improvements. Others, including the ban on military-style assault rifles and magazine clips for them, need more review.
But lumping everything into a one-plan-fits-all approach makes it more difficult to accomplish anything because opponents of the changes will have far more opportunities to criticize.
A smarter approach would be incremental changes that can be addressed one at a time.
The end result would be better for government efficiency and better for the American people.
The (Youngstown) Vindicator, Jan. 21:
This is a remarkable day in many ways — a day that testifies to the historic strength of the American nation.
By an accident of the calendar, this is a day on which we solemnly mark the birthday of an American martyr. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a man who gave his life in the battle against racism, was born Jan. 15, 1929, and his birthday is commemorated on the third Monday in January.
Barack Obama was born Aug. 4, 1961, only six years after King emerged as a leader in the Civil Rights movement, and just seven years before King's assassination at the age of 39. Obama was only 25 when King's birthday was first marked as a national holiday by President Ronald Reagan in 1986. And yet, by the time Obama was 47, he was elected and sworn in as president of the United States. And today the nation will mark his second inauguration....
A memorial to King stands about 20 blocks west of the Capitol, where Obama will take the oath of office. That is not a long distance, and yet it represents a very long journey for a nation that continues to seek to build a perfect union.
(Steubenville) Herald-Star, Jan. 17:
Forgive us, if you will, if we feel a little bit like Capt. Louis Renault, a character from the film "Casablanca" who was played so very well by Claude Rains.
Renault was in the process of closing down Rick's Cafe Americain, a nightclub and gambling parlor in the 1942 film, when owner Rick Blaine, memorably portrayed by Humphrey Bogart, asks the Vichy officer what grounds he has to close the bar. Renault's answer: "I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here." He then thanks the croupier, who has handed him his winnings.
The mock surprise displayed by Renault is similar to our reaction to Monday's news that Lance Armstrong, the world's most famous bicyclist, had finally confessed that the long-standing rumors he had used performance enhancers were true....
It is somewhat fitting that Armstrong's revelations come shortly after the Baseball Hall of Fame failed to elect a single member to its Class of 2013. Included among this year's nominees were Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Roger Clemens, players whose monster accomplishments will forever be clouded by allegations they were linked to performance enhancers.
Their stories all point to the dangers of a win-at-all-costs culture and the steep price that must be paid by those who succumb to it