Daily News editorial

Oregon overpays again

(Thumbs down)You might remember the state of Oregon had a very difficult time trying to build a website to enroll citizens in Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) health insurance policies. Oregon spent an estimated $240 million of taxpayer dollars for a “Cover Oregon” website that was never built. Later on, the state did recover a reported $60 million through the court system.

This week we learned the state of Oregon overpaid health care providers by $75 million. It makes you wonder how these things happen. In this case, an investigation revealed the state “paid inaccurate, excessively high rates.”

To make the situation all that more embarrassing for Gov. Kate Brown, government officials knew about the overpayment, but failed to tell the governor. The director of the Oregon Health Authority, Lynne Saxton, was fired.

The next time elected officials ask for more tax dollars, you may be well served to remember these issues.

Turkey Trot

(Thumbs Up)The Comcast Turkey Trot Fun Run & Walk begins at 8:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning — we hope you’ll join us for a fun event.

Let’s face it, most of us eat too much on Thanksgiving Day. And that’s okay, we can’t be perfect every day, right?

To help ease any guilt you may have about the extra helping of mashed potatoes or pumpkin pie later on in the day — participate in the Turkey Trot.

This a wonderful event held at Lake Sacajawea. Basically a bunch of locals get together and have fun walking and running around the lake. Awards will be handed out including one for “best costume.”

It costs $15 per person to participate; for an additional $15 dollars a long-sleeve technical shirt will be included. Some participants bring their dog to walk or run with them.

We’ve been a part of many Turkey Trots and will look forward to seeing you on Thanksgiving morning.

Politics over policy

(Thumbs Down)About a week ago, TDN reporter Marissa Luck wrote a story about Millennium Bulk Terminals. Judge Stephen Warning ruled the state Department of Natural Resources decision to deny an aquatic lands sublease to Millennium was “arbitrary and capricious.”

We appreciate the judge’s ruling in this case. If you remember, the head of the DNR and Commissioner of Public Lands, Peter Goldmark, made this ruling as he was leaving office a little over a year ago.

This is just one more example, among many, as to how our state government has stopped applying laws and statutes equally.

When you look up the legal definition of arbitrary and capricious it’s a little scary. Arbitrary means a clear error of judgment, a decision not based upon consideration of relevant factors. Capricious means an abuse of discretion and not in accordance with law.

We continually try to highlight issues like this because abusive government power is frightening and seems to be happening more often. Issues are now “politics over policy,” meaning people who are for or against an issue often ignore the law, or policy, in favor of their own politics.

Decisions are being made because someone with influence “likes” or “dislikes” something, versus what the law says.

“Politics over policy” seems to be the norm in Washington state and we’re glad Judge Warning shed some light on the issue.

Sports Illustrated cover

(Thumbs up)Talk about a lucky guess ... back in 2014, Sports Illustrated predicted the Houston Astros would win the 2017 World Series. SI published an issue with the picture of an Astros player who played a key role in winning the series.

The 2014 Sports Illustrated edition is now selling online at prices in the $350 range, as collectors are snapping it up. Maybe the people who predict winners and losers for presidential races should check in with SI forecasters….

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