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EXCERPTS FROM EVENING FORUM EDITORIALS

This Week

Saturday, November 2, 2013 - 12:01 am

Time to boost the Lifeline law

General Assembly members had a pretty good idea when they approved the Indiana Lifeline law authored by state Sen. Jim Merritt, R-Indianapolis. It offers immunity for certain alcohol-related offenses to young Good Samaritans who seek medical help for those who are dangerously intoxicated.

Sessions and Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller had an even better idea when they decided to make a tour of college campuses to explain the law to the young people who would be affected by it.

Now Merritt is proposing to broaden the law in a way that makes sense, and Zoeller supports the idea. The new version of the law would offer immunity for those who seek help in all medical emergencies, alcohol-related and otherwise.

It never made much sense to forgive alcohol-related interventions and not other emergencies.

Monday

Let's end the tax on devices

While the disastrous rollout and troubled early days of Obamacare are focusing attention on the program as a whole, a quiet but intense effort to repeal one piece of it continues. Republicans and Democrats alike are now adding their voices to the complaints of industry lobbyists about the 2.3 percent tax on the purchase of medical devices. The tax, it is argued, stifles innovation in a vital industry, costs jobs in a still-weak economy and gives companies an incentive to give up here and move overseas.

The repeal movement is something we should care very much about in Indiana, since this state is home to more than 300 medical device companies. Many of them are in nearby Warsaw, which has trademarked itself as the Orthopedic Capital of the World. Cook Medical, based in Bloomington, is one of the world’s largest privately held medical device firms.

Tuesday

No need for a shield law

We’re sure Gov. Mike Pence has a lot on his plate these days. If he’s looking for ways to lighten the load, we have a suggestion: Drop the misguided effort to get a national shield law for journalists passed.

Pence is a former congressman and radio host, and throughout his time in Washington he pushed the Free Flow of Information Act as a means to encourage sources and potential whistle-blowers to expose more wrongdoing. He told an Associated Press Media Editors meeting this week that he’s continuing the effort as governor.

The reason Pence is taking the wrong approach can be found in what he said to the group. “I believe the only check on government in real-time is a free and independent press,” he said. There are a couple of things wrong with that statement.

Wednesday

More autonomy for IPFW, please

As Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne tries to map its future, it does not have to choose between the extremes of continued domination by the parent campuses in Bloomington and West Lafayette or full-fledged independence. It can seek the middle path of greater autonomy that would give it the elevated status now only accorded to Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Being promoted to the status of “multisystem comprehensive university” would give IPFW more funding opportunities and greater leeway in such things as starting doctoral programs.

A good case for autonomy was made before a series of legislative study committee meetings. Though it ranks fifth among the state’s public institutions, IPFW is only 12th in the amount it receives from the state per full-time equivalent resident student.

Thursday

Dangers of a one-year delay

Indiana U.S. Sen. Dan Coats is again urging a one-year delay in the individual mandate for Obamacare. He’s right that individuals deserve the same relief the Obama administration gave to businesses; simple fairness alone is a sufficient reason for the delay.

But we have to realize that such a delay carries great risk. There’s a saying among techie geeks that “if you computerize a mess, all you get is a faster mess.” What needs to be said here is that “if you put off a mess, all you get is a delayed mess.”

Obamacare is one big mess of government intrusion that will make far many more American lives miserable than lives it makes better. The biggest danger is that Obamacare will actually work, and delaying its implementation might help make it work.

Friday