- Associated Press - Monday, October 27, 2014

Excerpts of recent editorials of statewide and national interest from Ohio newspapers:

The Marietta Times, Oct. 24

When public health threats surface, many Americans, including health care professionals, turn to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC officials are the experts, after all.

So why did they get things so badly wrong when Ebola came to the United States. Why did the CDC finally issue new guidelines on care for Ebola patients only after nurses demanded a change?

When a Liberian man with Ebola checked into a Dallas, Texas, hospital earlier this month, nurses and other professionals there relied on CDC guidelines for protective equipment and procedures. After the man died, two of the nurses who treated him came down with Ebola.

Led by the American Nurses Association, health care professionals pointed out the CDC’s initial guidance clearly was inadequate. That, by the way, occurred after CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden initially tried to blame errors at the Texas hospital on the nurses themselves….

Many health care professionals - along with state officials in Ohio, it should be noted - were ahead of the CDC. Ohio officials are spending $300,000 to buy additional protective gear for hospital workers.

Now is the time for Americans to pull together in a nonpartisan manner to contain Ebola, both here and abroad. But members of Congress are right to be looking into failures by the CDC.

Online: https://bit.ly/1nJzZ74

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Akron Beacon Journal, Oct. 26

Ohio has engaged in an intense debate this election season over the schedule for early voting. Ultimately, the U.S. Supreme Court had the final word (at least for now), allowing for reduced hours and days. That said, the state still rates favorably as having more access to the polls than most of its peers. If Ohioans want a glimpse at bad behavior, they need only turn their attention to Texas, where an onerous photo identification requirement is in effect at the polls.

The Supreme Court made the call in this instance, too. It joined a federal appeals court in paying little heed to the outcome of a two-week trial testing the constitutional validity of the requirement. The federal district court struck down the law, citing the “discriminatory purpose” and the unacceptable burden on the right to vote. So Texas voters must present photo identification, such as a driver’s license, gun license, military ID or a passport….

A concern about voter fraud just doesn’t pan out. Texas has had some form of voter identification at the polls since 2003, and the evidence reveals a mere two cases of in-person voter fraud prosecuted to conviction.

The Texas case isn’t over, the appeals process still in motion. Neither should Ohioans let down their guard.

Online: https://bit.ly/1pQd5GJ

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The (Toledo) Blade, Oct. 27

Under Director Gary Mohr, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction has prudently made prisoner re-entry a core part of its mission. Its investments and initiatives, such as community-based corrections programs, halfway houses, and a strong network of local re-entry coalitions, have paid dividends for the entire state.

Ohio’s prisoner recidivism rate has dropped to a record-low 27.1 percent, down from nearly 40 percent a decade ago. Thousands of ex-inmates are now working and paying taxes, instead of re-offending and returning to prison at a cost of $25,000 a year each.

The expansion of the state’s Medicaid program under the federal Affordable Care Act is giving the correction department another opportunity to improve what it does with newly released prisoners. Ohio Medicaid is providing hundreds of thousands of working-poor adults with access to medical care, as well as substance abuse and mental health treatment. Among those who are newly eligible for benefits are most of the more than 21,000 people a year released from Ohio’s 27 prisons….

With a new pilot program at the Reformatory for Women in Marysville, however, inmates are starting to be enrolled in Medicaid three months before their release…

Costing little or nothing, the correction department’s Medicaid enrollment program will ensure that Ohio makes maximum use of that change for returning prisoners. Like other re-entry efforts, it will continue to save taxpayers money and make Ohio a safer and better place.

Online: https://bit.ly/1zdymCG

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Warren Tribune Chronicle, Oct. 22

For most of us, the work Nobel Prize winners do in fields such as science and economics is impenetrable. They write about exotic reactions among various chemicals, models to predict how economies will react to certain stimuli, etc.

But Frenchman Jean Tirole’s Nobel Prize in economics is easy to understand. He won the prestigious award earlier this month for work demonstrating that often government regulations cost consumers money unnecessarily.

That is simplifying Tirole’s conclusion, of course. It is important to note that he understands some regulations are necessary and a few actually benefit consumers.

But many do not. For example, Tirole investigated regulations on the cable television and Internet industries. He found that consumers would pay less for service if some U.S. regulations on cable and Internet service providers were not on the books.

“Politicians would be stupid not to take his policy advice,” Nobel prize committee member Torsten Persson commented.

Well, yes and no. Politicians - or, more to the point, bureaucrats who enforce government regulations - have their own agendas. Sometimes they do not coincide with consumers’ best interests.

A more practical interpretation of Tirole’s work might be that voters should demand a stop to government regulations intended as social engineering or, even worse, to grow the bureaucracy.

Online: https://bit.ly/1yFOCcP


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