Viewpoints: Politicians Want To Hide Medicare Cuts Behind Rhetoric Of ‘Reform.’ Don’t Let Them.
A selection of opinions on health care developments from around the state.
Los Angeles Times:
A New Year's Pledge: Don't Let Politicians And Pundits Say Social Security And Medicare 'Reforms' When They Mean 'Cuts'
Just before New Year's, economist Jared Bernstein published the second in what may be an annual feature: A plea to the media to call out politicians who try to conceal their intention to gut Social Security and Medicare by talking about "reforms" instead of "cuts." Bernstein, who served as chief economist for former Vice President Joe Biden, originally raised the alarm about this sort of weaseling a year ago. I seconded the motion then, and do so again now. (Michael Hiltzik, 1/2)
Trump, Jeff Sessions Ought To Butt Out Of State Issues, And Focus On What Matters
At every turn, Republican Party leaders claim to believe in the right of people to make their own decisions and of states’ rights to govern themselves. And yet this week, President Donald Trump’s administration, implementing its skewed vision of Republican ideals, trashed that concept. ... Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded an Obama administration policy that restricted federal enforcement of marijuana laws. Sessions’ hopes federal prosecutors once again will bring criminal cases involving cannabis, overriding the will of people in California, Colorado and 27 other states where marijuana is legal in one form or another. (1/4)
Orange County Register:
Historic Day As Recreational Cannabis Sales Begin In California
Celebrating a major shift in cultural attitudes about cannabis — or just looking to enjoy the right to get high without legal entanglements — Californians lined up at dispensaries up and down the state Monday morning to be among the first to purchase recreational marijuana, more than a year after the state’s voters passed Proposition 64. (Brooke Edwards Staggs, 1/1)
Los Angeles Times:
The Lack Of Health Research Into Marijuana Makes It Hard To Tell People Whether It Is Safe
In advance of the legalization of recreational marijuana sales on Jan. 1, there have been lots of debates over the details of the cannabis business. How many feet should pot shops be from schools or daycare centers? How many acres may a marijuana farmer cultivate? Who should be eligible for a license to sell and who shouldn't? But there’s been much less discussion over an equally important question raised by the end of prohibition in California: What is the right public health message to send to adults who can now legally buy and use marijuana? (12/27)
The Mercury News:
CHP Fatality Highlights Legal Marijuana Danger
The Christmas Eve death of a California Highway Patrol rookie officer serves as a tragic warning of the dangers ahead with the Jan. 1 legalization of marijuana. It reinforces the need for lawmakers to toughen the rules against driving under the influence of cannabis, and highlights the Legislature’s inaction of the past year. The answers are not simple. But lawmakers should not let the quest for perfect legal standards become the justification for doing nothing. They should send an unequivocal message that driving under the influence of marijuana will be prosecuted. (12/29)
Los Angeles Times:
Allowing Employers A 'Moral Exemption' From Offering Birth Control Coverage Is Immoral
Without insurance, the price of some contraceptives can be daunting for many women. In a legal filing in November, several state attorneys general, including Xavier Becerra of California, said that since the requirement for insurance plans to cover contraception took effect in 2012, women across the country had saved $1.4 billion on birth control. (2/2)