“Kentucky's problems are deeply interrelated. Poverty is an indicator for poor health and low educational performance, and all three discourage business from setting up shop in a place which, of course, contributes to poverty.
It's hard to move up when deeply intertwined factors weigh us down. … Despite a lot of fulminating to the contrary, government plays a deep and significant role in the state's economic future. Directly, through education, infrastructure, smoking policies, bond ratings and tax incentives. Government's role in healthcare is huge, through Medicare, Medicaid, KCHIP and other programs, even if the care may be provided by private practitioners. … In difficult times ... the calls grow to shrink government and lower taxes to encourage economic growth. But this ... doesn't make the case for a smaller government role; they are persuasive about the economic benefits of widespread access to a high level of education, of measures that improve the odds that people can lead healthy lives and get quality healthcare when they need it, and of smart infrastructure investments.”
—Lexington (Ky.) Herald
“Now that congressional Republicans will no longer have Dr. Donald Berwick to demonize as head of the (CMS), is it too much to hope that they will declare a cease-fire and allow quick confirmation of his proposed successor? President Obama has announced that he will nominate Marilyn Tavenner, the agency's principal deputy administrator. She is an experienced healthcare executive who is well-qualified to continue and expand the important reform work started by Dr. Berwick. Through no fault of his own, Dr. Berwick, a respected expert on healthcare costs and quality, became a lightning-rod for Republican attacks on healthcare reform and government entitlement programs. Republicans distorted his record and past statements to imply that he would introduce ‘socialized' medicine and ‘death panels' and ignored the praise heaped on him by healthcare professionals and medical organizations. ... The agency needs continued strong leadership as it works to create pilot programs and innovation centers that are supposed to lower costs of Medicare and Medicaid and improve the quality of care.”
—New York Times
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