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HEALTH and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was blunt about the Affordable Care Act in a speech to the National Conference of State Legislatures this week.  

"This is no longer a political debate; this is what we call the law," Sebelius said of Obamacare.

"It was passed and signed three years ago. It was upheld by the Supreme Court a year ago. The

president was re-elected. This is the law of the land."

If true, then why is Obama administration not obeying this law of the land?

Sebelius has granted thousands of waivers to

special interest groups and backers of the president.

The President himself gave an unauthorized one-year delay in implementing the employer mandate.

Despite having a massive agency, Sebelius will fail to meet a deadline mandated by this law for insurance exchanges this fall.

On top of all that, Sebelius and Obama quietly

lifted restrictions on insurance rates, out-of-pocket

expenses and deductibles — the very heart of

Obamacare.

The president was elected to preserve and protect the Constitution and the nation's laws. That means he must follow the law himself.

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IN its first six months, the state's online tracking system for Sudafed and other non-prescription cold and allergy relief has stopped the illegal

purchase of nearly 10,000 boxes of pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient in the manufacture of meth.

The West Virginia Retailers Association called this proof that the new system is working.

But House Health Committee Chairman Don Perdue, D-Wayne, is unimpressed. He will push for

prescriptions to buy of Sudafed and its competitors.

Oh good grief.

The program has been in effect for a mere six months and opponents want to abandon it?

Considering West Virginia already leads the nation in prescription drug abuse, requiring prescriptions is not the answer.

Basically, a prescription requirement hassles the

apparently 97 percent of users who are not turning Sudafed into meth.

Meanwhile, CVS pharmacies are requiring a photo ID to buy nail polish remover, which apparently is also used in making meth.

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NO new taxes may be taking a toll on the

people of southern West Virginia. The Blue Ribbon Commission on Highway Needs held a public hearing in Beckley on financing the 36,000 miles or so of roads that the state maintains.

A poll of the people attending found 58 percent strongly disagreed with raising gasoline taxes, which already top 50 cents per gallon.

Only 13 percent strongly agreed.

"A surprising 68 percent don't mind keeping the tolls intact on the Turnpike," Mannix Porterfield of the Register-Herald in Beckley reported.

That's a reverse of the usual anti-toll mood. The swing may be a realization from West Virginians that they will have to pay for roads one way or another.

However, re-directing funding from other areas in state government needs consideration as well.

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IN seeking the Senate next year, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., created a vacancy in the 2nd Congressional District that many politicians are only too happy to fill.

Two Republicans who would love to be the nominee are newcomer Ron Walters Jr. and Delegate Suzette Raines. Both are from Kanawha County and both are 29 years old.

If that seems too young, consider that Rep. Nick Joe Rahall, D-W.Va., was 27 when voters in southern West Virginia first elected him to Congress back in 1976, defeating former Congressman Ken Hechler, then 65, in a three-way race.

Voters ultimately will decide the race. But the choices are many, which is always encouraging.

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THE gifts of $1.25 million to West Virginia

University from H. Bernard and Cecilia Wehrle and $250,000 from a foundation run by their children is about more than money.

Bernie Wehrle was chief executive officer of McJunkin Corp. from 1987 to 2006 until its merger Red Man Pipe and Supply Co., which now as MRC Global is among the world's largest distributors of pipes, valves, fittings and related products and services to the energy industry.

He is now a director of MRC Global.

The $1.5 million from the Wehrle family will help create a new program in supply-chain management at WVU's business school.

The gifts are appreciated. Perhaps they will inspire others to consider how they can give back.


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