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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb 6, 2012/ 13 Shevat, 5772

CLASS Act Is Dead, but Obama Won't Repeal It

By Debra J. Saunders

Debra J. Saunders



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It says something about the brazen attitude of American politicians that Congress enacted a measure to create a program that was impossible to implement — and named it the CLASS Act. CLASS stands for Community Living Assistance Services and Support, a program that was supposed to offer voluntary long-term care insurance to workers who are 18 or older; its initials are about the only classy angle to the scheme.

Last February, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told the Senate that the CLASS Act, as written, was "totally unsustainable." In October, Sebelius announced that she could not implement the act and suspended the program. Even with the help of the best experts, her department could not design an actuarially sound and financially solvent plan.

Problem: Even though Sebelius said that the plan is unworkable, President Barack Obama doesn't support repealing the law.

On Wednesday, the House voted 267-159 — 28 Democrats joined all 239 Republicans — to pull the plug on the program. But the White House and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid do not want to repeal the CLASS Act. They apparently think they can score political points by hanging on to a comatose program.

The sorry fact is that Congress never should have passed the CLASS Act. The late Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., long had championed a voluntary plan that would allow seniors to receive federally subsidized long-term care without spending down their assets in order to qualify for Medicaid. So Democrats slipped CLASS into the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Then they patted themselves on the back for being the only people who really care about seniors.

It's a shame they didn't care enough to draft a realistic plan. Richard S. Foster, the chief actuary for Medicare and Medicaid, warned lawmakers that the program faces "a very significant risk of failure." The fiscal watchdog Concord Coalition called it a poorly designed "gimmick." Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., called it "a Ponzi scheme of the first order." Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., warned that CLASS would be "financially upside-down in a very short period of time."

Because the CLASS Act promised to pay for not only institutional care but also a "panoply of desirable home-care benefits," the Concord Coalition warned that the program essentially invited "induced demand — or what is sometimes called the 'out of the woodwork' phenomenon."

Then-Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., inserted language into the bill that required the plan to be actuarially sound for 75 years. It was the Gregg amendment that drove the Sebelius announcement.

With voluntary enrollment for workers 18 or older, the government insurance would have to charge higher premiums than private insurers, which can cherry-pick their customers. Then, to balance the books, the government plan would have to reduce benefits. Foster described the likely fallout as a classic insurance "death spiral," as high premiums drive away healthy consumers and the remaining customers drive up costs.

When the experts crunched the numbers, they found that premiums would have started at $354 per month — far more than the $123 forecast by the Senate — for a benefit less generous than those offered by private insurers. They even looked at cutting benefits to $10 a day.

In short, Congress had created a huge new government program that would be a drain on federal coffers for dubious benefit.

But Reid and Obama want to keep the CLASS Act on the books anyway. Reid and Obamaland think they can use the House repeal vote as evidence of a do-nothing mentality in the Republican-led body. As Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., wrote in Politico, "in our charged partisan environment, too many people ... view repealing CLASS as a tactical step toward undermining health care reform — without putting forward any real alternatives." That's a very exalted way of defending a willful decision not to correct an avoidable error.

On Thursday, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., called for the Senate to vote on the House bill. "My fear has been all along that if we don't get this program off the books," said Thune, "that at some point there will be an attempt to resurrect it."

That seems like a reasonable fear. Nonpartisan watchdogs warned Congress about the perils of the CLASS Act, yet Congress passed it. The Obama administration has admitted that CLASS is not sustainable, yet the White House wants to keep the law on the books.

If the Obama administration won't support eliminating a health care initiative that it knows cannot work, why should Americans trust the rest of Obamacare?

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© 2012, Creators Syndicate

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