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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 Oct 18, 2011 / 20 Tishrei, 5772

Scrapping CLASS Act Is the Right Thing To Do

By Debra J. Saunders

Debra J. Saunders



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | On Friday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that the Obama administration was ending the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports, or CLASS, Act -- enacted as part of President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act. In doing so, the administration killed off a major provision of Obamacare -- a new voluntary program designed to offer affordable long-term care -- yet the story barely was reported in the press.

The Obama administration did the right thing -- and it could not have been easy. Democrats had been promoting the plan, brainchild of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, as a means of protecting middle-class families from having to sell their assets if they needed long-term care.

As Sebelius told Congress, her department spent 19 months trying to crunch the numbers to make the law work. "But despite our best analytical efforts," she wrote, "I do not see a viable path forward for CLASS implementation at this time."

Translation: Congress passed and the president signed a bill to create a huge new government program, even though it wasn't remotely doable.

Worse, they were warned. Medicare and Medicaid chief actuary Richard S. Foster reported the "very serious risk" that the CLASS Act would be "unsustainable." The Concord Coalition called it a poorly designed "gimmick." Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., called CLASS a "Ponzi scheme of the first order." To address those concerns, then-Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., inserted a requirement in the enabling legislation that required the CLASS Act be actuarially sound for 75 years. Sebelius could not meet the Gregg requirement; hence, we had Friday's announcement.

First, there's the problem of adverse selection. As Foster explained, "individuals with health problems or who anticipate a greater risk of functional limitation would be more likely to participate than those in better-than-average health." Add modest work requirements and subsidized $5 monthly premiums for students and low-income enrollees and the CLASS Act promises -- my words, not Foster's -- adverse selection on steroids.

It also doesn't help that CLASS benefits are less generous than those offered by private insurers. The primary CLASS benefit is $50 per day, which could go toward in-home or nursing home care. Private plans, the HHS report noted, provide a daily benefit of $150 to $200.

Premium calculations for CLASS started at $354 per month -- a big bite in your average paycheck. So the department explored modifications, including an option to reduce the daily benefit to as low as $10, to bring premiums down to as low as $99 per month.

In the end, federal numbers crunchers could not escape the bitter fiscal reality: Healthy adults can buy better private plans for less money.

On Friday, Sebelius wisely ended a bad program before it started. But on Monday, White House spokesman Nick Papas told The Associated Press, "Repealing the CLASS Act isn't necessary or productive."

To recap, after 19 months of cooking the numbers in every possible configuration to give the CLASS Act a passing grade, Sebelius had to shut it down in order to protect the public, but the White House wants to keep CLASS open to protect its political hide.

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© 2011, Creators Syndicate

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