This week, we spent some time reading a whole lot of editorials, mostly so you don’t have to. Here are the highlights, and low-lights:
Do doctors have too much sway over Medicare payouts?
WaPo asks the question, then never really comes out and answer it. If you read between the lines, you get that though they want to say “yes” all the evidence really points to “no”—so they avoid making any kind of reasonable conclusion because it doesn’t fit the narrative they really want. Most of the editorial talks about a 31-member panel of doctors, part of the American Medical Association, that recommends what it thinks doctors should be reimbursed for certain procedures. This is bad, apparently. A service provider negotiating with the government over what it will be paid for its services. Horror! Should Apple have no say over the price when the government wants to buy some iPads or iPhones? Why should doctors be different? Never mind the fact that the government, by WaPo’s own admission, is free to roundly reject the doctor’s suggested prices and did about 30 percent of the time the last time the list was updated.
Just how predictable is the Washington Times?
A mixed verdict on Manning
There are two camps, generally, when it comes to Bradley Manning: crucify him or build statues in his honor. It’s nice, then, to see a balanced approach like the one NYT takes in this editorial, admitting that while Manning broke several laws (which he did) the government not only overreached in its prosecution by charging him with aiding the enemy but continued to press violations of the Espionage Act even after it had obtained guilty pleas that could’ve put him in prison for 20 years. What did all this get them? Snowden. Probably not what the Obama administration was hoping for when it began its crusade against government leakers.
A veto for big-store bashing
If there’s ever a place for predictability, it’s the TWT editorial page. So it’s no surprise they’re attacking D.C.’s living wage bill. Their argument goes like this—if you make the cost of doing business too high, you won’t have businesses come to your city and workers who need jobs won’t have them. In other words, any job is better than no job. That’s a simplistic view, but arguably true. The idea that well-paid workers—even if they raise the cost of doing business initially—can still be a boon to a company’s bottom line in other ways, is unsurprisingly lost on the Times’ editorial board. Case in point, while they list a host of retailers absent from the District, they conveniently ignore the ones that are already here, most notably Costco. It’s not hard to see why. Starting wage there is $11.50, that’s $3.25 more than D.C.’s minimum wage.