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December 2, 2014

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 August 4, 2009 / 14 Menachem-Av 5769

The most important reform

By Jack Kelly

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The second, third, fourth and fifth most important reasons why private health insurance costs so much are:


2. Improvements in medicine and medical technology. We've gotten spoiled by computers and cell phones, which have gotten cheaper as they've gotten better. This isn't true with most things, and it certainly isn't true with drugs or with new diagnostic equipment. And because they work so well, people who otherwise would have died live longer, and consume more health care.


A Kaiser Family Foundation paper in 2007 estimated about half the increase in health care costs since 1970 is due to improvements in medical technology.


3. Frivolous lawsuits. Under our current system, plaintiffs can win enormous judgments against doctors and hospitals on the basis of specious evidence.


According to the consulting firm Towers Perrin, the tort system imposed $252 billion in costs on the U.S. economy in 2007. These costs are imposed in three ways.


The first is the cost doctors must pay for malpractice insurance, which is passed on to you whenever you visit the doctor. Obstetrician-gynecologists in New York pay about $200,000 a year in malpractice insurance premiums. For neurosurgeons, it's about $300,000.


The second is the cost of litigating medical tort claims, which in 2007 was $30.4 billion, a 100 percent increase from a decade before.


The third — and most expensive — is defensive medicine, ordering tests and procedures that aren't really needed to guard against a lawsuit. In a 2005 survey by the Journal of the American Medical Association, 93 percent of high risk specialists in Pennsylvania admitted to the practice.


These costs would decline sharply if plaintiffs who file frivolous lawsuits were required to pay the legal costs of the innocent defendants, as is the practice in most of Europe. But though Democrats are eager to impose limits on how much doctors may earn, they are unwilling to impose limits on how much ambulance-chasing lawyers may earn, since trial lawyers are major contributors to Democratic candidates.


4. Health insurance mandates. State governments require insurers to provide certain benefits, and to include some high risk patient populations.


These mandates increase the cost of basic health insurance coverage from about 20 percent to nearly 50 percent, depending on the state, according to 2005 estimate by the Council for Affordable Health Insurance.


5. Cost switching. Medicare and Medicaid don't reimburse doctors and hospitals for the actual cost of providing health care services to these patients. This causes doctors and hospitals to charge patients with private insurance more to make up the difference. Milliman, a consulting firm, estimated consumers paid an additional $89 billion a year in private health insurance premiums in 2006 and 2007 to compensate for federal underpayments.


But the most important reason why private health insurance costs so much is because it really isn't insurance at all. It's a baroque form of third party prepayment.


I have insurance on my car, not because I expect to get in an accident every week, but so I won't be wiped out financially if I do.


My auto policy doesn't cover oil changes, tune ups, tire rotation and other aspects of routine maintenance that I'm expected to take care of myself. If health insurance were more like that, it would be a lot cheaper.


I cheerfully pay the costs of routine maintenance on my car because I know it saves me money in the long run. I don't have the same attitude about health insurance, because it's my company, and not me, that gets most of the bill.


Our reliance on employers to provide health insurance is a product of World War II. Because of wage controls, companies couldn't offer higher pay to attract workers. So they offered health care instead.


This has been bad for two reasons. Losing a job becomes a real calamity, because you lose your health insurance, too. But the bigger reason is because we've lost the incentive to be smart shoppers when it comes to health care.


Tort reform, a relaxation of health insurance mandates, and fair reimbursement for Medicare and Medicaid would lower dramatically the cost of private health insurance. But the most important reform would be to transfer from our employers to us the tax deduction for health insurance, and the responsibility for obtaining it.

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.

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JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration.

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© 2009, Jack Kelly

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