Stop and think on health care, Republicans: If they can come up with a plan to improve coverage and insure more Americans, it will indeed, as the president said, be a thing of beauty. But ramming this bill through on an arbitrary political deadline is cynical, and makes you wonder whether well-insured Republicans running Congress have forgotten that they’re dealing with life and death for many of their constituents.
Big Dance is back in Sacramento: March Madness means more this year with Sacramento hosting the NCAA tournament for the first time in a decade and UC Davis playing in it for the first time. Big-time college hoops has been away too long.
Dan Walters: Once again defying Republican control of the federal government and many states, California’s Democratic politicians are proposing an expanding array of Scandinavian-style services. But they won’t come cheap, so are Californians ready to pay Scandinavian-style taxes too?
Karin Klein: When Education Secretary Besty DeVos is bumbling around, she’s plotting to make public schools as private as possible.
Jon Rosenfield and Ian Wren: Federal protections for the San Francisco Bay estuary are disappearing, and that’s really bad for California’s environment and water future.
Fabrizio Sasso: Public employees deserve a stable retirement, not more fear-mongering over a pension “crisis.”
Take a number: 7.1 percent
In 2012, the bad old days before the Affordable Care Act kicked in, 17.2 percent of Californians had no health insurance. People showed up at hospital emergency rooms for urgent matters, or got sicker. We all paid a price in ever-rising health care costs and premiums. The Centers for Disease Control’s National Center for Health Statistics recently reported that by the end of the third quarter of 2016, 7.1 percent of Californians were without health care insurance, among the lowest rates in the nation, and 4.5 percent of California children 17 and younger had health insurance. Compare that to Texas, where political leaders resisted Obamacare. There, 18 percent of the population had no coverage in 2016, including 9.9 percent of children.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and other congressional Republicans have their work cut out when they promise better health care at lower prices.
San Francisco Chronicle: Congressional Republicans need to put an immediate halt to their rush to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
Orange County Register: California has mismanaged its scarce transportation resources. Until the state gets serious about putting its own house in order and making transportation a real priority, policymakers should put the brakes on any tax increases.
San Diego Union Tribune: The DMV has heeded its critics. New rules released Friday echo federal rules in key ways and could lead to lightly regulated testing of autonomous vehicles by year’s end. If Washington gives the OK, it could be legal to buy such vehicles in California in 2018, although that still seems far-fetched.
Charlotte Observer: Your average slug is more popular than the media these days. Given that environment, it will be tempting for many Americans to tune out as journalists wax poetic about the virtues of “Sunshine Week.”
Raleigh News & Observer: A proposal to offer forgivable loans to those who agree to teach science, technology, engineering, math and special education is a good idea. North Carolina is facing a teacher crisis that is the product of poor education policies from Republicans, who killed off a similar program called Teaching Fellows.
David French, National Review: If the mob can suppress liberty simply by threatening any law-enforcement officers who stand in its way, then law enforcement has failed. If the mob can destroy academic freedom by threatening any college administrator who attempts to enforce free-speech and academic-freedom policies, then the academy has failed.
Eugene Robinson: In the Age of Trump, racism is back in the mainstream and ready to roar. Just look at Rep. Steve King of Iowa.
Michael Gerson: The role of conspiracy theories has been consistently underestimated in the rise and appeal of President Donald Trump.
Paul Krugman: The U.S. is now governed by a president and party that fundamentally don’t accept the idea that there are objective facts.
Trudy Rubin: Iraqi Kurds say the U.S. still has a role to play in the Iraq civil war.
Julian Assange is merely the agent for Russian hackers. More like their tool. – Sydney Fink, Folsom
Tweet of the day
“#CBO report makes it crystal clear that this harebrained scheme to repeal #Obamacare is a really dumb idea & will cause millions to suffer.” – Jerry Brown @JerryBrownGov