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Editorial Roundup: Excerpts from recent editorials

Wednesday - 9/18/2013, 5:20pm  ET

The Associated Press

Excerpts from recent editorials in newspapers in the United States and abroad:

Sept. 15

Decatur (Ala.) Daily on Affordable Care Act would help IP workers:

For many of the 1,100 workers employed at International Paper's Courtland plant, the overwhelming issue is health care.

They understand they will lose their jobs. IP announced last week it will close the Courtland plant, opened in 1971. The employees are casualties of the transition to a paperless world, and they get that.

The problem for the IP workers is the same problem faced by millions of Americans. Individual health insurance is not affordable, especially in a state like Alabama monopolized by a single health insurance carrier. Accessing health care without insurance is not feasible. The only option for the uninsured is the emergency room, which does little to deal with the chronic conditions that come with age, and which leads to bankruptcy for those forced to use it.

"Obamacare," once promoted by conservatives as a market-driven alternative to Medicare-for-all, has become a partisan hotspot. Republicans, historically champions of the laborer, feel compelled to condemn the Affordable Care Act.

Even in Alabama, one of the poorest states in the nation, elected representatives vow to do what they can to defeat a law that uses the market to provide health care to all.

Gov. Robert Bentley swears he will do anything to help the IP workers. So do U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks and U.S. Sens. Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions. But all four are doing everything in their power to block health-care access to the IP workers who are soon to be unemployed.

It's time for Congress -- especially poverty-stricken Alabama's representatives -- to quit treating the Affordable Care Act as a partisan tug-of-war.

The law is imperfect, but a Congress with a desire to help those without access to adequate health care can fix it. Governors who are more interested in helping their people than undermining the president can help, too.

As 1,100 IP workers soon will discover, America's health-care system is a mess. The Affordable Care Act is an initial step toward fixing the system, and it deserves bipartisan support.

If they care more about their constituents than about partisan bickering, the elected representatives from Alabama -- including Bentley, Brooks, Shelby and Sessions -- will do their best to make "Obamacare" work.



Sept. 14

The Daily News Journal, Murfreesboro, Tenn., on Syrian war gains face with story of victim:

While it's not impossible, it's unlikely that many of us in Murfreesboro will ever meet Rema Faour.

In the midst of all the debate about whether the United States should launch a limited assault against Syria because of its government's use of chemical weapons, however, Rema Faour offered a true flesh-and-blood example of what is happening every day in Syria.

Rema Faour and her family in Syria have been among the victims of the ongoing violence there. She personally has sustained injuries as have other members of her family. Members of the family also have died.

Syria may seem quite far away, but thanks to Rema Faour's brother, Louai, who lives in Murfreesboro and was willing to share her story and reporter Christopher Merchant who was able to tell her story, those of us in Murfreesboro got a much better understanding of the pain and frustration of this civil war.

Rema Faour's story puts a face on the many column inches that we have published about the dire situation in Syria and the many hours of television time that is has occupied. Her story has given life to the many dry statistics about deaths, injuries and displacements in the war-torn country. ...

Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill, one-time House speaker, receives credit for the observation that "All politics is local," but most world events also are local, particularly as Rutherford County has grown to provide home for a diverse population.

When protesters recently gathered downtown to oppose U.S. military intervention in the Syrian conflict, also present were Syrian nationals who urged the United States to act to help save their families and friends still in Syria.

Those in Syria are not merely numbers, but families with fears and aspirations -- just as families who live in Rutherford County.

We only can hope that Rema Faour and her family survive this conflict. They are also part of our family.



Sept. 17

The Star-Ledger, Newark, N.J., on Miss America:

To the new Miss America we offer hearty congratulations, and best wishes in her determination to ignore the psychos who have been posting racist comments online.

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