Opinion Extra

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VERBATIM

- "It's a virus that eats the private health insurance industry. The people who designed it know that. It's a way to get to the single-payer system."

Ed Sellers, BlueCross BlueShield CEO,

on insurance reform public option

- "Impeachment is not a legal proceeding; impeachment is a political proceeding. We don't need the courts at all. We're totally autonomous."

Rep. Greg Delleney, R-Chester, on why Ethics Commission report on Gov. Mark Sanford isn't necessary for his subcommittee to consider impeachment

OTHERS SAY

Offshore gas drilling

South Carolina would benefit if the federal government includes this state among those that will be allowed to conduct exploratory natural gas and oil drilling off the Atlantic Coast.

There are two clear benefits to South Carolina and the nation if this and other states are allowed to participate in this program. First, if harvestable natural gas is found off the coast of South Carolina, it would mark a further step toward energy independence for the United States. Second, such work could provide much-needed revenue to the state and create jobs for some state residents.

The Greenville News

Test scoring

A preliminary plan on scoring the state's new Palmetto Assessment of State Standards Test should give South Carolina a better comparison with other states than the previous testing method.

A subcommittee of the Education Oversight Committee has given its blessing to scoring parameters that will have students who meet grade level standards as passing the test for federal No Child Left Behind purposes. The full EOC must approve this grading platform before it takes effect in the scoring of the tests given in the spring of this year.

The decision is seen by some as watering down South Carolina's standards, but we disagree. Under the old Palmetto Achievement Challenge Test, South Carolina schools fared poorly because of the requirements to meet the federal standards. The scoring of the PASS Test will more fairly indicate how South Carolina students and schools are performing in relation to those in other states.

Aiken Standard

Restructuring state health agencies

A panel of state senators, appointed by Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler, R-Gaffney, will evaluate a plan to improve the administration of health care services that would involve the operation of five different agencies. From all appearances, the effort makes good sense....

The Legislature has resisted even basic, sensible restructuring efforts such as these because they cede power to the governor that now is held by lawmakers. The situation has been exacerbated by the sour relationship between the Legislature and Gov. Mark Sanford, who has made restructuring a centerpiece of his administration.

The debate should not be about personalities but about what is best for the state. Giving the governor more power to appoint board members and agency heads would place accountability directly in the governor's office, not with a board whose members are unknown to most South Carolinians.

Besides, Sanford would be out of office by the time these changes took full effect. Perhaps the most constructive move Sanford could make to further these changes would be to stay out of the way.

The Herald (Rock Hill)

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

- "Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."

Thomas Edison

INSPIRATION

- "For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, 'The just shall live by faith.'"

Romans 1:17

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