Opinion

House Republicans trifle with health care. At their peril

johman@sacbee.com

Good morning. On behalf of The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board, welcome to The Take, your opinion-politics newsletter. Please sign up for it here.

Jack Ohman examines Jeff Sessions and the No Laughing Matter matter. Read the cartoon here.

Takes on the Republican health care bill

Sacramento Bee: Where to send the California Republicans who backed that awful Obamacare repeal: There’s a place we won’t name for the 217 House Republicans – including every one in the California delegation – who voted Thursday for the despicable scam replacement for Obamacare. And in 2018, voters should direct them there.

Modesto Bee: Rep. Jeff Denham’s fig leaf can’t cover up harm he’s done by voting to repeal ACA.

Fresno Bee: Supporters of Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford, have spent millions portraying him as a friend of working men and women and veterans. But with his vote Thursday, he revealed his true colors: just another foot solider in the Trump offensive to reward the rich and punish everyone else.

San Francisco Chronicle: Consumers are in danger of paying much more for far less health coverage, courtesy of a reckless Republican rewrite of the Affordable Care Act that brought medical insurance to millions of Americans.

Kansas City Star: The Senate should take the time to carefully consider improvements, then offer them to the American people. Or it could rush through a half-baked, ill-considered, fundamentally flawed bill – just like the House did Thursday.

Raleigh News & Observer: Trump flatly promised those with pre-existing conditions would be protected. This proposal doesn’t do that. Ruh-roh, Republicans.

Other Editorials

Why does Sheriff’s Department always need a bailout from Sacramento taxpayers?: How many more times will the taxpayers of Sacramento County have to bail out the good old boys at the Sheriff’s Department who can’t seem to avoid getting themselves into trouble? Because it’s really getting old, not to mention expensive.

Columns

Ben Boychuk: The First Amendment is under genuine assault, and public officials are standing by doing practically nothing. What could President Donald Trump do to change that?

Dan Walters: California gives corporations billions of dollars in tax subsidies each year but only rarely looks at whether they create more investment and jobs.

Gregory Favre: The Washington Post pointed out that President Donald Trump has made well more than 450 false or misleading claims just since he was elected, about five every day. Here’s a quick cursory examination.

Joe Mathews: California’s clogged legal system yields overcrowded prisons, underfunded schools and housing shortages.

Take a number: $10.2 million

The federal budget bill through Sept. 30 – passed by the House on Wednesday and by the Senate on Thursday – includes that additional amount for California’s earthquake early warning system. More money is still needed to complete the system, started by Senate Bill 135 in 2013. Last year, another law added $10 million and required a business plan by 2018.

The network of sensors, designed to be similar to the one in Japan, is supposed to give enough advance warning to shut down mass transit and infrastructure and give as long as a minute for residents to take cover. Foon Rhee, @foonrhee

Their take

San Diego Union Tribune: Prompted by last week’s release of a brutal state audit that accused her office of hiding $175 million in funds and repeatedly obstructing an investigation ordered by the Legislature, University of California President Janet Napolitano’s appearance before a joint legislative oversight committee Tuesday at the state Capitol did little to assuage concerns about her willingness to finally bring transparency to UC. While Napolitano was sufficiently contrite for most lawmakers and said her office would implement all 33 budget-related recommendations made by state Auditor Elaine Howle, some of her remarks just raised new questions about her candor.

Los Angeles Times: It’s remarkable that 152 years after Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered near Appomattox Court House in Virginia it is still necessary to point out that leaders in Southern states sparked the Civil War in hopes of creating a new, separate nation based upon white supremacy and slavery. Despite the assertions of apologists, the war was not a fight to repel Northern aggression – the South fired first – nor to save a genteel agrarian culture. So it’s a very good thing – if a trifle late – that local governments in the South have been re-evaluating their Civil War memorials and removing installations that honor racism, oppression and hate.

Washington Post: President Donald Trump is getting closer to exiting the Paris climate agreement. According to reports emanating from the White House, the president’s top lawyer shifted the internal debate last week. More meetings are to come. Yet the choice ought to be an easy one: Staying in the Paris accord is cost-free, but pulling out is not.

Chicago Tribune: Americans are politically divided and riven by cultural conflicts that are enough to make them forget they’re all part of one people. But when it comes to nonhuman creatures, the divisions melt away. In red states and blue states alike, attitudes at the dog park, the pet supply shop or the aquarium tend to be unified – and passionate. Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill have taken this phenomenon to heart. A raft of proposed legislation aimed at improving the welfare of animals has drawn support on both sides of the aisle.

Syndicates’ take

Dana Milbank: At least we now know why FBI Director James Comey went public about his agency’s investigations into Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Charles Krauthammer: I simply view President Donald Trump as the Wizard of Oz. Loud and bombastic. Nothing behind the screen. What to do? Ignore what’s behind the curtain. Deal with what comes out in front.

Michael Gerson: What will President Donald Trump do about the war in Afghanistan? His decision will indicate a great deal about the foreign policy philosophy and geopolitical strategy of his administration.

David Leonhardt: President Donald Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan are continuing to push a policy that would harm millions of Americans. Here are the basics of a new study, and why it matters:

Charles M. Blow: The movie “Gladiator” is a work of fiction based on some historical figures, but it has some incredibly compelling parallels to what’s happening today in America.

Gail Collins: Every day concerned citizens put together their critique of the President Donald Trump’s policies, and before nighttime he’s a completely different dude.

Mailbag

“This is not normal for a democracy. This is banana republic-style autocracy.” Kathy Campbell, Sacramento

Tweets of the day

“Thanks, I think.” – Chris Megerian @ChrisMegerian @BarbaraBoxer defends media: ‘The press followed me around for years, asking me stupid questions. They were so annoying,’ but had right to” – Doug Sovern‏ @SovernNation

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