Editorial roundup

By the Associated Press

Excerpts of recent editorials of statewide and national interest from Ohio newspapers:

The Columbus Dispatch, Oct. 26

Every state in the nation is competing for economic development, backing programs aimed at increasing household income and reducing poverty.

But new research again points to a major way to increase prosperity that government has little direct control over: having higher levels of marriage and a greater percentage of children growing up in homes with married parents.

A new study from the conservative American Enterprise Institute and the Institute for Family Studies is the latest to show a strong correlation between two-parent families and positive economic outcomes in terms of reduced childhood poverty, increased household income and better prospects for children born to poor families …

The new study’s authors suggest ways to help offset the effects of households without married parents, including ending the “marriage penalty” in means-tested welfare programs and launching civic efforts to strengthen marriage. The latter is tricky, as government programs haven’t had much success at this; a $1.5 billion Healthy Marriage Initiative launched under President George W. Bush in 2004 produced no significant results.

But these studies make it clear that the message must continue to get out that one of the best anti-poverty programs for children and a sound economic advantage for states is a household with married parents.



Akron Beacon Journal, Oct. 25

House Republicans had the option of examining the fallout in Libya following the overthrow of Moammar Gadhafi three years ago. That would have been a helpful exercise. The Obama White House, led by Hillary Clinton, then the secretary of state, provided air power to support allies at the front of the toppling. What has happened since? Libya has splintered, ravaged by conflict and disorder, militias vying for power, among them, many jihadists …

The committee has done so, at a cost of nearly $5 million in public money, even though the attacks have been the subject of seven previous investigations. The State Department conducted its own tough, independent review. The findings have been clear: The department failed to provide sufficient security. Clinton has taken responsibility for the failings, though the record shows that security professionals at the department made the crucial decisions. The department has moved to implement recommendations designed to improve security …

Listen to Hillary Clinton, and it is obvious she would do things differently, from the security at the Benghazi compound to using a private email system. At the same time, nothing in the record points to her neglecting her duty or somehow breaking the law. Key House Republicans already have admitted the partisan purpose of the select committee. This farce of a hearing should be its last act. Lawmakers might then ask: What about Libya since?



The (Canton) Repository, Oct. 23

Underreported and for too long ignored, sexual assaults on college campuses have become an epidemic that must be addressed before the problem grows worse.

Last month, the Association of American Universities (AAU) released a troubling report in which nearly one in four female college students surveyed reported experiencing some form of unwanted sexual contact that came by way of force, a threat of force or while they were incapacitated by alcohol or drugs. More than 10 percent said the contact included penetration or oral sex. The incidents were reported only between 5 and 28 percent of the time, depending on the behavior, according to the study.

The numbers are devastating. Worse is how long it has taken our society to start doing something about them …

While there for years has been an indication of this problem, the AAU study underscored just how rampant sexual assaults have become on college campuses. It surveyed 150,000 students from 27 universities across the country. No study of that size had been conducted.

We no longer can turn a blind eye to this behavior. It shouldn’t have taken Ohio this long to address the issue. The plan unveiled this week, though, is a major step forward, and we applaud the efforts of school leaders.



The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, Oct. 21

New research indicates that the Affordable Care Act and other health policy developments in Ohio have cut in half the proportion of Ohioans without health care insurance. The Plain Dealer, citing Ohio Department of Medicaid survey findings, recently reported that the percentage of uncovered Ohioans is about 8.7 percent. The proportion was about 17.3 percent in 2012.

Demonstrably, one key reason for that positive development is the expansion of Ohio’s Medicaid program by Republican Gov. John Kasich. The federal Affordable Care Act, so-called Obamacare, authorized Medicaid expansion in those states that opted for it. To date, 30 states, including Ohio and every state that borders Ohio, have done so …

That, among other things, means that Ohio and other states must shrewdly manage Medicaid spending inside their borders. And on that front, there’s also good news. Gongwer News Service, citing data from the state Budget Office, which is part of Kasich’s administration, and from the legislature’s nonpartisan research arm, the Legislative Service Commission, has reported that “underspending in Medicaid … appears to be on a continuing path.” That is, Ohio’s Medicaid managers are watching the store, a good omen for when Ohio will be shouldering some expansion costs.



By the Associated Press