Opinion

Rendon was right to block universal health care bill; aid-in-dying bill is working

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 says virtual reality is the name of the game in the White House press briefing room. Put your VR goggles on here.

Our take

Editorial

Universal health care bill was half-baked. Trumpcare is a disaster. Why the rush?: Health care should not be trifled with. Whatever the solution, whether in Washington or Sacramento, legislation should not be done in a rush.

Column

Andrew Malcolm, McClatchyDC: We’re politically divided and hateful. Maybe that’s the media’s fault too.

Op-Eds

Matt Cate, Carolyn Coleman and Greg Norton: Senate Bill 649 would eliminate public input for some wireless equipment and cap how much local governments can charge for leases. Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint are pushing this legislation because they want to be able to put their equipment wherever they want.

Sen. John Moorlach: The Professional Engineers in California Government union has been salivating to fill vacancies at Caltrans and add 400 to 500 positions in the next fiscal year. That would be a colossal waste of money because contracting out the work is much cheaper.

Take a number: 191

Of 191 people who received drugs under California’s new aid-in-dying law in its first six months, 111 ingested them and died, according to the first official count out Tuesday. The California Department of Public Health said that of the people who died, 84 percent had been in hospice care and 87 percent were 60 or older. The first numbers go against some opponents’ warnings that the legislation would lead to many deaths. Compassion & Choices, an advocacy group, said the law is working as intended, giving an option to the terminally ill who are suffering intolerably. That’s what The Bee’s editorial board hoped in supporting the measure. While the state report covers June 9 to Dec. 31, 2016, the advocacy group says at least 500 Californians received aid-in-dying prescriptions in the first full year of the law. Former Sen. Lois Wolk, one of the main authors of California’s aid-in-dying law, said in an email “in these terrible circumstances, I know that families and patients are grateful for the choice. Foon Rhee, @foonrhee

Their take

Raleigh News & Observer: The deal was done, and then it wasn’t. UNC-Chapel Hill has lost a grant promised from the federal government that would have been used to fund projects to undercut jihadist recruiting and other radical violence. The Trump administration canceled the grant, and some wonder if the $900,000 was lost because UNC’s application also said it would apply some of the same approaches to jihadist propaganda, in terms of undermining it, to white supremacists.

Denver Post: The Colorado baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple in 2012 is not the victim in a case that this week was accepted by the U.S. Supreme Court for consideration. We hope the U.S. Supreme Court – including its newest justice, Neil Gorsuch – can weigh the facts in this case to find that a cake shop that sells wedding cakes must sell those cakes to everyone.

San Francisco Chronicle: California lawmakers must reject telecoms’ cell phone power grab. Cities, not Sacramento, should have the final say on what private industry can build in the public right of way.

LA Times: California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon did the state a favor late Friday afternoon when he slammed the brakes on a fast-moving Senate bill to create a single-payer healthcare system in California.

Orange County Register: The single-payer health proposal carelessly forced through the state Senate earlier this month was rightly put on hold Friday. Calling the bill “woefully incomplete,” Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon shelved Senate Bill 562 “until further notice.

Santa Rosa Press Democrat: Marin County shouldn’t be allowed to export its housing obligations on neighboring counties. That is not smart growth. At the least, if Marin is going to be given another pass on its housing obligations, it should have to go through the normal legislative process – with public hearings and all – and not have an exemption squeezed into a state budget as it’s raced through the streets of Sacramento.

Charlotte Observer: If you were U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, but without his paycheck, would you think the Senate Republican health plan is a good idea? What if you were U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, but without his income? If you are actually Thom Tillis or Richard Burr, then you are worth millions of dollars each and don’t worry about insurance premiums.

Syndicates’ take

Ruben Navarrette: Illegal immigrants broke the law. Shouldn’t they be worried about being caught by law enforcement and deported?

Leonard Pitts Jr.: Grover Norquist, the anti-tax crusader, complained about sales taxes. But we pay taxes as an investment in the common good. That’s not to say it’s fun. Sacrifice seldom is.

Kathleen Parker: The “mean” meme was easy enough to embrace given the Senate bill’s cuts to Medicaid, which provides coverage for the poor, disabled and elderly. Adding insult to injury, the bill included tax cuts for the wealthy.

Mailbag

“Far too often, physicians speaking at medical conferences are financially supported by companies that sell the products recommended by the speakers. If anything, SB 790 isn't strong enough.”Jack Kashtan, MD, Sacramento

Bonnie Pannell, 1949-2017

Former Mayor Heather Fargo called Sacramento City Councilwoman Bonnie Pannell a “protective mother bear” for the south area of Sacramento. “What a fighter,” Mayor Darrell Steinberg said. “She was someone who looked you straight in the eye and said it like it was, always on behalf of her community. But there was a softness to her too.” Rest in peace.

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