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Trudy Rubin on European health care lessons

In a column by Philadelphia Inquirer's Trudy Rubin, the writer explores the health-care debate and lessons to be learned from abroad, citing former Washington Post foreign correspondent T. R. Reid's work, "The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care," and the 2008 Frontline series in which Reid was an adviser: "Sick Around the World: Can the U.S. Learn Anything from the Rest of the World About How to run a Health Care System?"

The column examines a few key questions and myths surrounding the European health systems. As the video shows, in some cases the answers appear straightforward and simple and, when it comes to specialized care, work is underway to improve wait times.

Like the health reform debate currently going on here in America, there are no easy answers and, as today's editorial states, this requires an honest discussion and not partisanship.

Dawn Marie Bracely/Editorial Writer

Dead man budgeting?

   David Paterson's pain could be our gain. If he can hang in long enough.
   The editorial roundabout, running from "Hurry up and decide." to "It's already too late.":
- Standing alone - The Buffalo News
   This is the chance New Yorkers have needed and it still could be an opportunity for Gov. David A. Paterson to leave a legacy that could make a difference. If he survives legal and political challenges and remains in office, he needs to take advantage of it.
   ... his decision not to run could free Paterson to conduct negotiations on the state budget with all the Patersonpain legal clout of his office, wielded without concern for its impact on his election prospects.
- State lawmakers must get focused on state budget deadline - Rochester Democrat & Chronicle
   If state lawmakers would show as much interest in tackling the state's now $9 billion-plus budget deficit as Paterson's latest problems, New Yorkers would be much better off.
- Gov. Paterson’s Oath  - The New York Times
   Mr. Paterson has failed to account for his actions. If he can show that he did no wrong, he must do so fully and immediately. If not, he should resign.
- Paterson must be held accountable - Utica Observer-Dispatch
   Paterson already has said he will not seek election in November. Nonetheless, state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo needs to investigate this affair thoroughly so that the public knows what really happened and whether and to what extent administration officials engaged in misconduct.
- The David Paterson story somehow manages to get even worse - Juli Weiner/Vanity Fair
   As this mess no doubt gets even more sordid and contemptible, it is important to keep in mind that Paterson actually chose to do all this instead of just deal with the day or two of bad publicity that would come from a widely criticized Times piece about his aide. He runs his cover-ups like he runs the state, ho ho ho! 
- One more down - The New York Post
   Harry Corbitt, Gov. Paterson's hand-picked State Police superintendent, quit last night, following key Paterson aide David Johnson out the door.
   Paterson, alas, was still hanging in.
- Better go now, Dave - The New York Daily News
   The business of state government ground to a halt yesterday as New York's chief executive holed up behind closed doors in Albany, focused on nothing but a desperate fight to save his political skin.

   And, if you are getting tired of that scandal, how about this one:
- Why Rangel Stepped Aside - The Atlantic Wire
   Charlie Rangel has temporarily stepped down as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

   So it goes.

-- George Pyle/The Buffalo News

Should Gov. Paterson stay?

What say you? Should Gov. Paterson stay in office, or resign?

Today's news covered the latest scandal in Albany, and tomorrow we'll look at Gov. Paterson's increased opportunity to speak harsh financial truths in the Albany budget process -- IF he survives the intense pressure to resign now being brought to bear by NOW and others, and IF the Cuomo investigation he requested doesn't turn up evidence of criminal witness-tampering and the like. Those are pretty big ifs.

Ravitch and paterson Were Paterson to resign, the governorship would devolve upon Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch -- who, like Paterson, would be an appointed governor, not an elected one. And if Ravitch couldn't serve, the baton would pass to Temporary President of the Senate Malcolm A. Smith (at one point last year, that could have been Pedro Espada's role). And if Smith couldn't serve, it would be Gov. Sheldon Silver until the elections.

That's Ravitch at the right, by the way, backed by Gov. Paterson.

Cuomo's investigation is likely to take a few weeks. Since he's now the most likely Democratic candidate for Paterson's office, he's in an interesting spot. So are all the Democrats seeking reelection to the Legislature this year, as well as Sen. Gillibrand, because the gubernatorial race will have an impact on all of them. Just when you thought the Albany circus couldn't get any more bizarre ...

Won't have Paterson to kick around any more?

   New York Gov. David A. Paterson dropped a bombshell ending a week of bombshells Friday when he said he would not, after all, seek to be elected governor in his own right this year.
   [Somebody forgot to tell the people who run his still-operating campaign Web site.]

     And there was much punditry:

- The right decision - Editorial/The Buffalo News
   ...after not quite two years of leadership that inspired few followers, and after weeks of bubbling scandal Paterson030110 that exploded Thursday with serious accusations of a real misuse of official power, Paterson succeeded in making, and making correctly, what must have been the most difficult decision a person in his position could face.
   Paterson announced Friday afternoon that he would not, after all, be a candidate for governor this year.
   It was the right thing to do.
- A rare opportunity arises for Paterson - Tom Precious/The Buffalo News
   Imagine New York state’s government led by a governor who doesn’t care about polls, raising campaign cash or angering powerful special interests.
   That’s where Gov. David A. Paterson sits now. He’s an unshackled governor.
- Gov. Paterson’s Next Steps - The New York Times
   Mr. Paterson’s highest priority must be the budget. It has to be cut carefully, sensibly and fairly to make sure that those who can least afford it do not bear an unequal burden. Now, at least, Mr. Paterson does not have to worry about union television ads or special-interest lobbying.
- Not good enough, Dave - The New York Post
   If Gov. Paterson thinks his withdrawal yesterday from this year's gubernatorial race is a proper substitute for outright resignation, he'd do well to think again.
Gov. Paterson makes the right choice - Syracuse Post-Standard
   The “accidental governor” was dealt a tough hand after Eliot Spitzer’s meltdown, and he often hasn’t played it well. But he has had some accomplishments, including overhaul of the misguided and damaging Rockefeller drug laws. The next few weeks should tell whether he has the opportunity to notch up any more.
- The Paterson Scandal Is Overblown - Lee Siegel/The Daily Beast
   So intense is our need for an outrage-fix that we turned innuendo into the instrument of a massive high and drugged ourselves into certainty that Paterson had traduced his office in the most thrilling way.
- For everyone's sake, please leave office, Gov. Paterson - The New York Daily News
- Paterson made the right decision - Rochester Democrat & Chronicle
- Paterson jumps ship as the state sinks - Ken Tingley/Glens Falls Post-Star
- Paterson must fight lame-duck status - Poughkeepsie Journal

   It's enough to make you feel sorry for the guy.

-- George Pyle/The Buffalo News

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