Excerpts of recent editorials of statewide and national interest from Ohio newspapers:
The (Tiffin) Advertiser-Tribune, March 16
One of the villains in last year’s scandal over EpiPens sold by Mylan Pharmaceuticals was the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as we pointed out. That agency is about to get a new director.
Public outrage focused on Mylan for its pricing of the EpiPen, a device used to inject a drug that counteracts severe allergic reactions. Some people are at such risk that they carry EpiPens wherever they go.
In 2007, a two-pack of the devices could be purchased for $58. By 2016, Mylan was charging $600.
One of the strengths of our free-market system is that it encourages competition — allegedly. But would-be competitors in the EpiPen business were not allowed to sell their products, likely undercutting Mylan on price, because the FDA had not approved them for sale in the United States.
President Donald Trump has accused bureaucrats at the FDA of dragging their feet on such approvals. Last week, Trump nominated Dr. Scott Gottlieb, who once served as FDA deputy commissioner, to head the agency. Gottlieb should be confirmed swiftly so he can begin cutting red tape at the agency.
The Marietta Times, March 14
While the zeal to replace Obamacare with a system that is more sustainable and doesn’t penalize working Americans has been in place since the legislation became law several years ago, the effort should not be hasty.
The proposed American Health Care Act is flawed in its current form and the haste with which Congress is acting appears destined to create new flaws.
Conservatives don’t like the concept of replacing the entitlements of Obamacare with a new set of tax deductions that amount to a new set of entitlements.
The health care industry is worried hospital systems and physicians will soon go back to the days where charity care was a massive burden on the system with little prospect of any cash coming into the coffers for poor and underserved clientele.
Public clinic operators fear a drop in federal aid leaving them unable to serve their needy clients.
Labor fears employers will drop coverage and aging Americans fear they won’t be able to afford their plans. And, working people who buy their own plans are worried they still won’t have affordable alternatives…
The Affordable Care Act originally was criticized for the unintended consequences it has proven to have created. An ill-informed bill can only make the consequences pile up and the system just as close, if not closer, to crashing.
The Columbus Dispatch, March 17
For years, testing has been one of the most inflamed issues in education, pitting at least two educational priorities against each other. On the one hand is a drive for measurable and broad academic achievement, and accountability for those charged with achieving it. On the other is the desire to provide each student with an individualized education that moves at each student’s pace and yields an adult who is able to think and function creatively…
State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria announced … the state will delay submission of an education plan required by the federal government in order to conduct a review of the state’s testing regime. Originally, the proposal left testing as it stands… So DeMaria has decided to appoint a panel to look for ways to streamline testing…
This review should include a discussion of the basic philosophy of testing and what it seeks to accomplish. … The panel should ensure that Ohio has a system that ensures that students are being prepared to compete in a global marketplace…
Most of the drive for more rigorous testing, teacher accountability and for educational alternatives such as school vouchers and charter schools was born of concern that traditional public schools were failing to provide effective educations to large numbers of students. While it’s possible that accountability measures were pushed too far, the pendulum should not be allowed to swing too far the other way, either.
Cleveland.com, March 18
Ohio is not going back.
It’s not going back to the days when Lake Erie was stinky and filthy. And it’s definitely not going back to the days when fires on the river flowing into the lake made Cleveland a laughingstock.
That’s the fighting message Ohio’s congressional delegation and other Great Lakes lawmakers must deliver to President Donald Trump.
Trump’s proposed 2018 budget zeroes out the $300 million annual funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a bipartisan, farsighted initiative that protects jobs and the region’s future along with a national treasure — the world’s largest surface freshwater system.
Trump’s budget also would end federal support for some key research on the lakes against the toxic algal blooms that shut Toledo’s water treatment plant in 2014 and impacted drinking water for nearly half a million…
Sen. Rob Portman and U.S. Rep. David Joyce of Ohio, both Republicans, already have vowed to work across the aisle to thwart the cuts.
They must use every inch of influence they have with this White House to secure full Great Lakes funding…
This wanton destruction of the funding to protect, preserve and perfect the Great Lakes must not stand. Lawmakers must safeguard Great Lakes funding to save the lakes.