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DEMOCRATS promised that Obamacare would reduce medical costs and help taxpayers in the long run. But like many a government program, the actual costs are coming in higher than estimated.

Last year, the administration projected it would cost $2 billion this year to run the health exchange programs that are to provide insurance to people who don't qualify for Medicare or Medicaid and lack access to other coverage or can't afford it.  

The actual costs are looking closer to $4.4

billion, or more than double the estimate.

"It's a lot more complicated than anybody imagined," said Joseph Antos, a health economist at the nonprofit American Enterprise Institute who advises the Congressional Budget Office.

That's what opponents said more than three years ago when Democrats passed this legislation without the support of any Republican in Congress.

It is very important to do the math before

passing legislation. Democrats didn't, and that is one of the reasons polls consistently show a

majority of Americans are opposed.

Trusting a government that routinely outspends its revenues by a trillion a year to save money is like giving the keys to the liquor store to the town drunk.

Americans will pay for for decades for Democrats' rush to pass Obamacare .

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PEOPLE want to do the right thing when it comes to the environment. For years, residents of Charleston have duly collected their recy-clable items, put them in clear plastic bags provided by the city and placed them out to be

 recycled.

It turns out the bags slow down the process,

 according to George Hunyadi, owner of West

Virginia Recycling Services.

His company took over the Slack Street recycling center in December from the Kanawha

County Solid Waste Authority.

"I have to have someone standing there ripping open every clear bag," he said. "It's a nightmare."

He wants residents to use recycling bins instead. That is how it is done in St. Albans.

Bagging the bags would not only keep some

plastic out of the waste stream, it might save the city a little. Charleston spent $77,052 last year to purchase clear bags for residents. While the bags also are used for yard waste, perhaps the city's purchase could be cut back.

City officials should thank Hunyadi for speaking up.

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LEGISLATION passed this year will allow state residents to register to vote or to update their voter registration information from their home computers in time for the 2014 election.  

People will be able to enter their personal information at the Secretary of State's website. It then would be submitted to their county clerk's office.

The process requires a driver's license or some other state-issued ID, which is the same requirement for in-person registration. The new legislation allows county clerks to reject those applications they deem to be fraudulent.

While certainly state and local governments should adopt modern technology for the convenience of the public and to cut expenses, caution should be used when it comes to voting.

The right to vote is sacred — and should be

protected from being canceled out by fraudulent ballots.


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