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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 August 1, 2007 / 17 Menachem-Av, 5767

Dem health plan a burden on poor

By Robert Robb

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The reauthorization of the State Children's Health Insurance Program illustrates the difficulty of having a sensible policy discussion in the context of American politics, as currently practiced.


According to congressional Democrats, opposition to their reauthorization proposals means support for allowing low-income children to go without health care.


According to Republicans, the Democrats are proposing socialized medicine on the installment plan.


A sensible policy discussion begins with what the debate isn't about: health insurance coverage for low-income children.


SCHIP was intended to provide federal subsidies to insure children up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level, or a family income of about $40,000 a year. The program expires this year and needs to be reauthorized.


No one opposes reauthorization for its intended purpose. The Bush administration has proposed reauthorization for this targeted population with an extra $5 billion in funding over the next five years, over the current base of $25 billion.


The problem is that SCHIP has expanded beyond its original scope, as so often happens with federal programs. In the early years, many states couldn't use all of their SCHIP money, so the feds permitted excess funds to be used by other states to extend coverage to children beyond 200 percent of the poverty level and even adults.


In Arizona, the SCHIP plan is called "KidsCare". A Government Accountability Office study found, however, that 56 percent of the people enrolled in “KidsCare” were actually adults.


Fifteen states now provide SCHIP coverage for children above 200 percent of the federal poverty level and 14 states cover adults.


Congressional Democrats propose not only to fund these existing expanded programs, but provide enough funding for other states to substantially expand eligibility as well. In all, Democrats are proposing to more than double SCHIP funding, allowing universal coverage up to 300 percent of the federal poverty level, as Gov. Napolitano has proposed for Arizona.


That would provide coverage up to a family income of about $60,000 a year. Since the median family income in the United States is just over $46,000, this reaches well into the middle class.


Here, a confusion surfaces between the issues of universal access and federal subsidies. There are a lot of middle-class American families that have difficulty obtaining health insurance coverage. Every state, however, can provide universal access by allowing buy-ins to its Medicaid program.


The question SCHIP reauthorization poses is whether the federal government should be subsidizing the health insurance of middle-class families. There doesn't seem to be any justification for it, particularly funded the way congressional Democrats are proposing.


To pay for the SCHIP expansion, Democrats are proposing to raise tobacco taxes by up to 61 cents a pack.


Tobacco taxes are highly regressive. So, basically, Democrats are proposing to tax the poor to pay for the health care of the middle class.


Tobacco taxes are also highly uncertain. Health care advocates like them because the evidence is that they do reduce consumption. However, states and the federal government have already loaded up various programs, many involving health care and children, on their backs. The odds are very strong that tobacco taxes will not produce the revenues being obligated.


Now, Republicans are making these points. But they also are employing a scare tactic of their own, that Democratic proposals are basically socialized medicine on the installment plan.


However, government programs to provide subsidized access to what is still a private system of health care providers are very distinct from European-style national health care systems. Moreover, federal tax policy also heavily subsidizes private, employer-provided health insurance. So, this is not a clean choice between public and private approaches.


At the end of the rhetoric, however, congressional Democrats aren't proposing to reauthorize a program to insure low-income children. Instead, they are proposing a massive expansion of subsidized health care to middle-class families, funded by a large increase in heavily regressive tobacco taxes.


That's an unwise, unfair and fiscally risky scheme.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in 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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© 2007, The Arizona Republic

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