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State of the Debate
George Pyle
George Pyle has been a newspaper writer in Kansas, Utah, Upstate New York, and now Utah again, for more than 30 years - most of it as an editorial writer and columnist. Now on his second tour of duty on The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board, he has also done a stretch as a talk radio host, published a book on the ongoing flaws of U.S.agricultural policy and, in 1998, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. His most active bookmarks are Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens and Tina Brown. And he still thinks the Internet can be used for intelligent conversation and uplifting ideas.

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Editorials: Paying for children's health and fish eggs ...

Above: Bureaucracy in any language.

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- Red tape fever: Poor should face less bureaucracy - Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

The police department doesn’t make you prove that your taxes are paid before they respond to your alarm. The fire department won’t expect you to enter your PIN code after you call 911.

So why should Utah’s Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program throw unnecessarily high barriers in front of the families the programs were created to serve?Yes, Medicaid and CHIP are meant for low-income households. ...

... But advocates for children and the poor (and most of the poor are children) make a compelling case that Utah’s compliance review procedures are among the most difficult for the poor to satisfy and the most expensive for taxpayers to maintain. ...

... Fresh data from Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families shows that most states, including Utah, had fewer uninsured children last year than it did in 2008, but that Utah remains behind the curve for lowering that crucial statistic. ...

... The analogy to police and fire services holds. We offer those services to all of our neighbors because catching a criminal, or extinguishing a fire, down the street makes us all safer. [As all Spiderman fans know.] We provide health insurance to those who could not otherwise afford it, not out of charity, but out of the realization that it keeps the whole of the community healthier, with less communicable disease, fewer lost school days and work hours and a stronger overall economy and community. ...

Elseweb:

- Rate of Oklahoma children without health insurance improves - Tulsa World Editorial

- Fishing for dollars: It's time to raise license fees - Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

Some fishing groups are telling the Division of Wildlife Resources that it’s time to raise license fees. We agree. ...

... The fishing groups are rightly concerned about the agency preserving its ability to manage the fisheries properly. Recent decreases in federal excise-tax revenues from fishing tackle sales have cut deeply into funds to operate hatcheries, for example. ...

... the agency has only increased the fee for an adult license by $2 since 1992. The last increase came in 2003.

License fees are critical to the DWR budget. They account for 45 percent of revenues. ...

... Hunting already subsidizes fishing by about $2 million, because hunting fees were raised in 2008.

So it’s time for fishers to carry their own creels. A modest fee hike is the way to go.



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