Johnson aids burn victims

Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, has proved that sometimes common sense can prevail in Washington. In the process he has done a service for victims of severe burns.

Most people probably believe a hospital trauma center’s purpose is to treat victims of any serious injuries.

But for many years, the official federal government definition of “trauma” excluded injuries caused by burns of any kind.

That affected federal grants and other activities supporting health care facilities. Burn centers could not participate in federal programs designed to improve trauma care.

While that may sound like a bureaucratic technicality, it has had a very real effect on treatment of burn victims, as health care professionals noted in urging the government definition of “trauma” be altered.

Johnson introduced a bill to do just that. His “Improving Trauma Care Act” is, as Johnson pointed out, “a straightforward, common sense, bipartisan bill.”

So clear was the need that it appears there was no opposition to the bill. It was approved in the House of Representatives by a voice vote.

Now the measure moves to the Senate. Lawmakers there should waste no time in approving it – and demonstrating that on some important issues, Congress can be bipartisan and can pursue worthwhile goals.

What About Energy Needs of Americans?

President Barack Obama’s administration has slashed hundreds of millions of dollars out of research programs to find ways to burn coal more cleanly at power plants.

Apparently the president does not believe devising ways to ensure Americans can continue to obtain low-cost electricity generated from such plants is wise use of taxpayers’ money.

He would rather pour billions of dollars into “alternative” energy projects.

Including one in Chile.

Obama announced last week the United States wants to help Chile build Latin America’s largest solar power plant.

To that end, the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corp. has approved a $230 million loan guarantee for the project.

But that is peanuts. During the past year, the OPIC has provided $900 million in loan guarantees for “renewable” energy projects in Chile.

So Obama cannot spare money to save low-cost electricity for Americans – but he can find hundreds of millions of dollars to help Chile.

No one in Congress has suggested stopping the craziness. But you probably guessed that was the case.