Sharon D. Allison-Ottey: A well-intended bill but a bad one

Last month, the Maryland Citizens Health Initiative Coalition held a press conference in Annapolis calling on the General Assembly to pass so-called “transparency” legislation, HB 1194/SB 1023, to address the cost of prescription medicine Maryland’s citizens pay at the pharmacy counter. We recognize MCHI’s efforts to bring down the out-of-pocket cost for patients. (Daily Record)

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Robbyn Lewis: Here's why Maryland needs a basic health plan

Health care is a human right. Without universal access to quality, affordable health care, nothing else matters. Children need good health to learn and grow, and working adults need it to be engaged, creative and productive citizens. Unfortunately, Republicans are using their control of the federal government to rip health coverage away from the American people. Their efforts to destroy the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, threaten hard-won gains for health coverage and drive up costs. The first line of defense to protect health care for millions of Americans falls on the states. We have the power and opportunity in Maryland to defeat destructive efforts emanating from Congress and the White House. (Wash. Post)

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Vandana Sinha: Here's how a regional HQ2 bid could work

Now that the Washington region crows three spots on Amazon’s 20-city short list for its supernatural HQ2, I suppose we can say the me-first approach won us the first round. But joining together could make us the last bidder standing. And that will take beating Amazon at its own game of bureaucratic bling. (Wash. Bus. Journal)

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Cheryl C. Kagan: 911 texting a good start, but Md. system needs more to protect lives

Every child knows what to do in an emergency: They dial 911. But when 911 fails, people die. On April 19, 2006, Kaafee Billah called 911 from his office at MedImmune/AstraZeneca in Gaithersburg. He thought he might be having a heart attack. Emergency responders searched from office to office, looking for him. Ten hours later, he was found dead in a different company building that shared the same “trunk” phone line. On July 25, 2010, Rockville resident and environmental activist Carl Henn was struck by lightning during a thunderstorm; 911 was overwhelmed by calls, so his friends’ efforts were met with busy signals. Carl later died. The common thread in all these tragedies was the failure of 911 to get help to where it was needed. (Balt. Sun)

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Schools must do better communicating threats to community

More than 300 teens, roughly a third of the student population at Francis Scott Key High School, skipped on Wednesday after word of another student making a threat against the school spread on social media the night before, without any official communication to clear up the matter for parents until after the school day began Wednesday. Law enforcement deemed the threat not credible late Tuesday, according to Carroll County Sheriff Jim DeWees, whose deputies investigated the potential threat, visiting the student and his family. Yet, it wasn't until after 7 a.m. — after most students were already on their way to class — when an email was sent to the FSK community advising Carroll County Public Schools was aware of the threat. (Carr. Co. Times)

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Get 'em!

Cumberland is going to enlist in the army of victims who are going after the big drug companies that are undoubtedly contributing to the opioid pandemic. (See: City to join opioid lawsuit, Feb. 21 Times-News, Page 1A) All of America’s towns, cities, counties and states are victims. There’s no other word for it. They did this to us on purpose because they thought they could do it and get away with it, and make gobs of money. (Times-News)

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Melissa Landa: What I learned as an anti-bias educator at UMD

For 10 years, I had the privilege of working with undergraduate students at the University of Maryland, focusing on anti-bias education in the five courses that I created and taught. Although I am no longer at UMD, I believe that some of the themes that emerged from discussions I had with African American, Jewish, Asian American and other “minority” students might offer useful perspectives for administrators to consider in light of the race-related challenges that the university is confronting. (Balt. Sun)

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Ron George: Are Democrats against economic growth?

The big news for entrepreneurs, single moms and families of all sizes is that relief is arriving on your doorsteps in several ways: The federal tax cut translates to more than $3 billion in annual tax relief to Maryland. According to The Tax Foundation's estimate, "This reform should result in 17,000 additional jobs in Maryland." The average Maryland family will see $1,741 returned to them this year, according to Democratic Comptroller Peter Franchot. Is his party listening? Only one thing can derail your benefiting from this good news: partisanship. (Capital)

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