Recipes with something missing

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John O'Connor, editorial director, McKnight's Long-Term Care News
John O'Connor, editorial director, McKnight's Long-Term Care News
President Obama delivered his third State of the Union address Tuesday night. I'll let the professional scorekeepers decide whether his hour-long presentation was up to code. My take is that the evening showcased two missed opportunities.

The first shortcoming relates to the president's continued support for better healthcare. Or to be more specific, his lack of it. In case you missed it, here's the 17-word money shot:  “I'm prepared to make more reforms that rein in the long-term costs of Medicare and Medicaid.”

Huh, that's it? Nothing about the healthcare reform case before the Supreme Court? Nothing about the CLASS Act? It's as if the administration's tooth-and-nail fight to enact the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act never happened. Instead, we learned that there is apparently a gap in this nation between people who have lots of money and others who do not.

That's not to say the president is not making big plans. After all, this is an election year. So we did get the commander in chief's promise to put great effort into improving manufacturing, energy, job skills and a renewal of American values. If you plan to eat any of that, better use a spoon.

Another missed opportunity became apparent when Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels delivered the Republicans' response. Regardless of your political persuasion, it was hard to be unimpressed. In clear, gentle language, he laid out the loyal opposition's stance and values. But it wasn't just that Daniels was smart, or polite, or convincing. The guy looked downright presidential.

He certainly offered a stark contrast to the current GOP frontrunners. The resurging Newt Gingrich continues to present himself as s mean-spirited evil scientist with a Messiah complex. And the best description I've heard of Mitt Romney was served up by Paul Begala in Newsweek. Begala wrote that Romney “looks like a debutante at a cow-chip-tossing contest.”

Keep the Advil handy. This could be a painful year for the Union.


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Daily Editors' Notes

McKnight's Daily Editors' Notes features commentary on the latest in long-term care news and issues. Entries are written by Editorial Director John O'Connor, Editor James M. Berklan, Senior Editor Elizabeth Newman and Staff Writer Marty Stempniak.