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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 25, 2009/ 5 Elul 5769

Menu for reform

By Tom Purcell




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Before the government takes over more of our health care system, the least it can do is make a decent sandwich.


I refer to an interesting report that ran in The Washington Post one year ago.


The U.S. Senate Rules and Administration Committee oversees a network of restaurants, cafeterias and coffee shops throughout the Senate complex on Capitol Hill.


Its crown jewel is the ornate Senate Dining Hall, where senators and their guests are served by waiters wearing jackets and ties.


But there was a problem: The restaurant operation was losing lots of money.


Why? For starters, the food stunk. Many Senate staffers preferred to flock across the Capitol to lunch at the privately managed House cafeteria. It offered more options and tastier grub.


The once-profitable Senate catering division had lost customers, too. That's because senators began requesting waivers so they could hire private caterers for their special events.


Imagine that: a U.S. senator seeking special treatment.


In any event, the Senate-run operation was bleeding red ink. It had lost $18 million since 2003. It was on track to lose $2 million in 2008 alone — a loss taxpayers had to eat.


Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., then-chairwoman of the Rules and Administration Committee, wrote to her colleagues about the matter.


She cited a troubling Government Accountability Office finding: The government employees who managed the Senate restaurants had little interest in breaking even. This was "due to an expectation that the restaurants would operate at a deficit annually."


Imagine that: a government operation that runs an annual deficit.


The solution was obvious to some: Run the Senate restaurant system the same way as the House system.


In the 1980s, you see, the Democrat-controlled House brought in a private contractor, Restaurant Associates of New York, to manage its cafeteria operations. Its food is so good — and its operations run so well — that Restaurant Associates paid $1.2 million in commissions to the House between 2003 and 2008.


And so, last summer, the Democrat-controlled Senate decided to do the same. It established basic guidelines — it required that the government employees who chose to stay on would enjoy the same pay and be allowed to unionize, for instance — and contracted Restaurant Associates to have at it.


There is a lesson here about the best way for the government to collaborate with the private sector to unleash the best of human nature to attain the best possible results.


The Senate Dining Hall food stunk. The reason the operation had been losing lots of taxpayer money was that there was no incentive to do otherwise.


Under the government model, restaurant employees were more prone to be agitated by hungry customers than pleased to serve them. The more customers who came in, after all, the more work employees and managers had to do.


Who can blame government employees for feeling this way? Whether or not customers came in to dine, government employees and managers still got their pay and their benefits.


A private organization, though, must turn a profit or the money it loses will be its own. If its employees work hard to please customers — by offering excellent grub and excellent service — the organization will thrive and every employee will benefit.


It's simple human nature: When people have a stake in something, they attain better results.


That's what many lawmakers are missing as they attempt to "reform" our health care system. Most folks don't want the government to micromanage the decisions that are ours to make. We want to increase our stake.


We want to choose our own insurance and providers. We want more options, not fewer. We want to unleash private individuals and private organizations to innovate ways to improve care and reduce costs — not more government meddling.


Government's best role here is to reset some basic guidelines to address the basic challenges — portability, pre-existing conditions, the uninsured, cost, etc. — then get the heck out of the way.


For goodness' sake, a group of elite senators couldn't oversee a lousy cafeteria operation. What makes them think they can oversee a massive health care system?

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