In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
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 May 13, 2009 / 19 Iyar 5769

Obama, health care lobby collude to misdirect American people

By Robert Robb

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The country is about to have a very frustrating debate over health care, characterized more by misdirection than an honest discussion of the alternatives.

A good illustration was provided by the confab at the White House on Monday, in which health-care executives committed to reduce expenditures by $2 trillion over the next decade.

Or did they?

President Barack Obama, in his remarks, said that they did: "They are pledging to cut the rate of growth of national health-care spending by 1.5 percentage points each year - an amount that's equal to over $2 trillion."

The actual letter signed by the executives, however, says something importantly different: "We will do our part to achieve your administration's goal of decreasing by 1.5 percentage points the annual health-care spending-growth rate - saving $2 trillion or more." "Our part" is much different, and far more ambiguous, than "we will do the whole thing."

This is best seen as collusion by the health-care industry and the Obama administration to misdirect the American people.

In the first place, what health-care expenditures will be over the next 10 years is unknowable. So, the "pledge" is written on water.

More importantly, the commitment was made by trade associations that don't actually deliver health care. What happens on the ground with health-care costs is unaffected by press events held by politicians and lobbyists.

Most importantly, what happens on the ground already provides incentives for true economies. There are serious distortions in the health-care marketplace, but market share can still be gained by reducing costs and prices.

The real significance of the press event wasn't the phony pledge of cost savings. The event signaled the political capitulation of the health-care industry. It will now accept whatever role in the health-care system the politicians assign it.

The more substantive event that happened that day was the release of an "options" paper for health-care reform by Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus and ranking member Chuck Grassley. But, again, "options" is a misnomer. This paper doesn't really spell out fundamentally different approaches. Instead, the choices are all a variation on a single theme: a government-managed system of private health insurance.

Existing plans would be grandfathered in. But all future health insurance would have to be purchased through a government exchange. The government would decide the benefit options insurers could offer, and insurers would have to offer all options. Pricing would be strictly circumscribed. Medical underwriting would be prohibited.

The fight over whether there would be a "public option," a health plan actually administered by the government, is misplaced. If government controls the benefits and pricing of private plans, politicians and bureaucrats are in charge irrespective of whether there is a formal public plan.

The political need for action is driven by the uncertainty over coverage in the American system. The gaps in coverage are hugely worrisome even for those who currently have good insurance.

This uncertainty, however, is easily eliminated at no cost to the taxpayers. There is already a national health-care plan, Medicaid for the low-income. Universal access could be provided simply by allowing any legal resident to buy into Medicaid at the government's cost.

The system as a whole, however, makes no sense. Obtaining health insurance through your employer is an artifact of World War II wage and price controls.

Some Republicans want to eliminate this dependence and stimulate a market for individual health insurance. That makes more sense, but the public is unlikely to be comfortable with such a radical restructuring without a government backstop, such as the ability to buy into Medicaid.

This debate will be sad and frustrating. And the end result will probably be neither fish nor fowl - a system that provides neither the certainty and security of a European-style national health-care system, nor the choice and freedom of a vigorous individual health-insurance market.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Robert Robb is a columnist for The Arizona Republic. Comment by clicking here.

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