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 Sept. 11, 2009 / 22 Elul 5769

Obama's reassurances not believable

By Robert Robb

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | If the American people want government to have a larger and stronger role in health care, so be it. I've long thought it was probably inevitable.

But the leap shouldn't be made based upon the reassurances President Barack Obama sought to convey in his speech to Congress. There's substantial reason to doubt each and every one of them.

Let's begin with the most important reassurance: If you like the health insurance you have, you'll be able to keep it.

In the bills congressional Democrats have produced to date, this reassurance comes with a condition and an expiration date. Existing plans are grandfathered in, but no new enrollees are permitted. And after five years, all plans have to conform to new federal requirements yet to be determined.

Employers are not going to maintain plans for long that new employees cannot participate in.

More fundamentally, Obama's other proposals completely scramble the health care market. The federal government will determine policies and benefits packages that can be offered. Medical underwriting will be prohibited and pricing differentials for other factors sharply limited. New taxes will be imposed on insurers and employers.

At the end of the process, no one can say what insurance products will be available at what cost. Or what health insurance, if any, employers will offer.

And then there's the public option. Obama says it will compete on a level playing field, but this is impossible to believe. The federal government isn't going to sponsor a health insurance program and then be indifferent to its success.

The government-sponsored health insurance plan will crowd out private insurers. We've seen this play before. Government-sponsored Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac dominated the secondary mortgage market. When they got in trouble, the federal government bailed them out — as investors assumed would happen all along, despite claims to the contrary by federal officials.

If there's a public option, chances are, over time, private insurance will be relegated to a supplementary role, such as it currently has with Medicare.

The second reassurance in which the American people should place no faith is the assertion that health care reform as Obama has proposed will not add to the deficit. So far, congressional Democrats have yet to field a health care reform that doesn't add to the deficit. And that's after giving credit to phony savings from provider cuts that Obama says will pay for most of the plan.

This is a game Congress has played many times. When it needs to show some paper savings, it passes cuts to health care providers, particularly in Medicare. Then doctors quit taking Medicare patients and hospitals start to squawk. And the cuts are restored.

Health care isn't going to be expanded without it costing more, particularly if nothing is done to change the perverse economic incentives inherent in a third-party payer system.

Relatedly, the promise to seniors that Medicare services will not be cut also should not be credited. Even without health care reform, current Medicare financing is unsustainable. The hospitalization trust fund is already running a deficit.

More directly, Obama cannot fund health care expansion elsewhere through Medicare spending reductions without cutting Medicare services or changing its basic fee-for-service approach. In short, Obama's pledge to seniors not to cut services is incompatible with his pledge to the American people not to increase the deficit.

Now, I happen to favor fundamental health care reform. I'm among those Obama described as wanting to end employer-provided health care and make it an individually purchased product, the same as all other personal insurance.

However, the gaps in the existing system that most concern Americans are easily and relatively inexpensively filled: simply allow people who have expended a certain percentage of their income on health care to buy into the Medicaid program. No one goes without coverage because of pre-existing conditions; no one goes bankrupt because of sickness.

Despite his protests, however, Obama isn't really building on the existing system. Intentionally or not, he's proposing to blow it up. What arises in its aftermath is pure conjecture.

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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