Recent editorials from Kentucky newspapers:
Courier-Journal, Louisville, Ky., on Gov. Beshear's health care approach:
Two weeks after the launch of Kynect, Kentucky's online health exchange where people can shop for health insurance, it's off to a successful start.
It's also attracting favorable national attention. And so is Gov. Steve Beshear, who launched Kentucky's site and accepted the federal expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act despite opposition of some Republicans in the General Assembly.
President Barack Obama noted the success of Kentucky's program in a meeting with House Democrats, praising Gov. Beshear, said U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, a Democrat who represents Louisville's 3rd District.
Thursday, speaking on National Public Radio's "The Take Away," Gov. Beshear said he pushed forward with the health law, making Kentucky the only Southern state to create its own health exchange and expand Medicaid, because it offers the state an "historic opportunity."
Kentucky has about 620,000 people with no health coverage and some of the worst health statistics in the nation when it comes to death and disease.
"If there's a way I can attack that and change the course of history on health care in Kentucky, I'm going to do that," Gov. Beshear said.
Beshear, whose legacy may well become that of expanding care and improving health statewide, said political debate over the law wasn't a factor for him.
"This is about our people," he said. "This is what they need."
The Kentucky Standard, Bardstown, Ky., on maintaining breast cancer awareness all year:
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. However, being truly aware of breast cancer is much more than wearing pink for a day, a week or a month.
Drinking Five-Hour Energy out of a pink bottle or accessorizing with tiny ribbons doesn't stop breast cancer.
Cancer doesn't discriminate based on age, social class, what you wear, or even what color the newspaper is that you're reading.
The point of these things, however, is hope that the color association will, for at least one month out of the year, make people think about breast cancer.
For so many women — and more men than most assume — breast cancer is a daily awareness. They can't go on about their lives when October is over as if nothing is different, because cancer changes everything. ...
Kentucky has a higher rate of breast cancer than the national average. In 2009, the most recent year for which statistics are available, at least 5,000 people in Kentucky were diagnosed with breast cancer. Of those, about 1,000 lost their battles.
It's easy to brush off numbers as statistics and move on, but each of those numbers was a person. They were mothers, sisters, wives, daughters, co-workers and friends who received a diagnosis no person wants to hear and either battled treatments and physical pain to overcome the disease or tried their hardest and still succumbed to it.
For that loss of life to not be in vain, we have to be aware. We have to keep searching for a cure and we have to do what we can to keep this disease from taking more of our loved ones.
There is no proven scientific method to prevent breast cancer. As with several other ailments, a healthy diet and regular exercise are suggested as activities that can lower one's risk of developing the disease.
While there may not be a cure or list of habits that will guarantee someone won't develop the disease, science has proven time and again that early detection is key.
The American Cancer Society recommends that women 40 or older should have a mammogram every year. Women in their 20s and 30s should have a clinical breast exam at least every three years as part of a regular health exam. In addition to those screenings, doctors also tout self-exams as life saving.
Basically, be aware of your own body.
The Morehead (Ky.) News on how a coal strategy is more desperately needed now:
We wrote in this space last spring about the growing need for Kentucky, particularly East Kentucky, to develop an economic plan with much less dependence on coal.
Like it or not, the coal industry has gone from a decline to a free fall as companies shutter mines and lay off hundreds of miners with little hope of reopening, especially in the short run.
The latest bad news is the cussed and discussed decision by the Kentucky Public Service Commission to let American Electric Power (AEP) turn out the lights on its Big Sandy generating plant near Louisa.
That move will not only eliminate 125 jobs at the plant but hundreds more at mines which no longer will be selling coal to that plant to burn to make steam to generate electricity.
Politicians are continuing to rail against the so-called "war on coal" by the Obama Administration but the stringent air quality standards are in place and power companies have no choice but to comply.
It's hard to conceive that AEP can buy half interest in an entire generating plant in West Virginia for millions less than it would take to put "scrubbers" on the smokestacks at the Big Sandy plant.
Coal production in Kentucky fell in 2012 to its lowest level in nearly 50 years and 4,068 jobs were eliminated, almost all of them in East Kentucky. ...
For years, Kentuckians have talked about diversifying the economy to ease our dependence on coal. But coal jobs paid well and no one thought they would ever end.
Bumper stickers and license plates remind us that "coal keeps the lights on" but they don't tell us for how long.
Hopefully, it will be long enough to find another job.