Home
In this issue
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 Nov. 2, 2009 / 15 Mar-Cheshvan 5770

At key moment, Obama leaves health post unfilled

By Byron York




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Medicare and Medicaid, the federal government's health insurance programs for the elderly and poor, play a big role in the health care reform proposals being considered on Capitol Hill. President Obama and Democrats in Congress hope to cut Medicare spending by nearly a half-trillion dollars over the next decade, and reform plans call for a big expansion of Medicaid during the same period.

The proposals raise serious questions. Is it really possible to take so much money out of Medicare and not affect coverage? Is expanding Medicaid a good idea?

Congress would like to pose those questions, and many more, to the top administrator of the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Except there isn't one. Even though the job is critical to the current health care debate -- and would become even more critical should reform pass -- Obama hasn't gotten around to filling it yet.

The position is officially known as the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, usually referred to as CMS, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services. The administrator oversees about $700 billion in annual spending -- more than the entire defense budget. It is a very big job.

But at the moment, it's held by an acting administrator, Charlene Frizzera, formerly the chief operating officer of CMS. Frizzera has extensive experience in the field, but so far at least, she is not the permanent head of CMS. When Obama names a candidate for the job, he or she will have to be approved by the Senate Finance Committee and confirmed by the entire Senate.

"It's a very big concern that the agency lacks a permanent administrator," says Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Finance Committee. "An acting administrator, no matter how well-qualified, lacks the authority to lead and is difficult to hold accountable."

Even without a permanent chief, CMS is playing a big, and often controversial, role in the current health care debate. You may remember the flap when the government imposed a gag order on some insurers who had the audacity to tell their policyholders that Medicare cuts might affect their coverage. That gag order, since lifted, came from CMS.

The agency is also coming up with analyses of various health care proposals that don't always please Democratic leaders. A few weeks ago, CMS actuaries concluded that the version of the House reform bill then under consideration would cost more than was thought, and that Medicare savings would be less than estimated but would still mean benefit cuts for some seniors. It wasn't exactly what House Democrats wanted to hear.

The last time Medicare was such a hot topic in Washington, during the debate over the 2003 Medicare prescription drug entitlement, George W. Bush's head of CMS, Thomas Scully, was an influential player on Capitol Hill. Now, with the stakes even higher, there's nobody to play that part.

Asked about the vacancy, White House spokesman Reid Cherlin said, "Filling this role is a priority for the administration, and we're working to name an administrator as soon as possible." But some Republicans suspect the White House is not entirely unhappy with the situation as it exists today.

"If Obama nominated someone for the job, lawmakers would have an intense interest in their views about health care," says one Republican Senate aide. That could make running CMS a very uncomfortable job, because senators would expect the administrator to testify at length on why the White House believed extensive cuts could be made to Medicare without cutting the quality of care. So perhaps the president is content to have no one in the job while the debate is going on; the position can be filled later, when the heat is off.

The top spot at CMS isn't the only important job vacancy in the Obama administration. According to the White House Transition Project, a group that monitors the job-filling process, a large number of key positions in the administration remain unfilled. As of Oct. 1, for example, Obama had nominated candidates for fewer than half of the positions in the Treasury and Justice departments that require Senate confirmation.

But given the circumstances, the top job at CMS is special. Congress is considering huge changes to our health care system, especially Medicare and Medicaid. Lawmakers need an authoritative voice to give them the unvarnished facts before taking actions that can't be undone. But the president hasn't seen fit to fill the job.

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.

Comment on Byron York's column by clicking here.


Previously:



10/26/09‘Fierce urgency' for jobs, not health care’ 10/12/09 Facts hurt Jennings in youth sex controversy
10/05/09 Amid terror threat, Dems chip away at Patriot Act
09/27/09 In Afghanistan, let U.S. troops be warriors
09/21/09 Under fire, Democrats abandon ACORN in drove
09/14/09 Dems stifle Republican health care plans
09/08/09 For Dems, a serious Charlie Rangel problem
09/07/09 Obama's speech: Wrong setting for a sales job
09/01/09 What happened to the antiwar movement?
08/24/09 Why Dems may jam through health care plan
08/17/09 GOP thinks the unthinkable: Victory in 2010
08/10/09 The empty words of a journalist turned flack
08/03/09 Probe finds new clues in AmeriCorps IG scandal
07/27/09 Obamacare haunted by unkept promises of stimulus
07/20/09 Why the GOP failed the Sotomayor test
07/13/09 What the GOPers will ask Sotomayor
06/29/09 Serious questions remain for Mark Sanford
06/22/09 How GOPers can crack the AmeriCorps scandal
06/16/09 Worried about Sotomayor? Consider Andre Davis
06/08/09 Can Mitch Daniels save the GOP?
06/01/09 When the Dems derailed a Latino nominee
05/26/09 Why the GOP will defeat Obama on healthcare
05/19/09 Rosy report can't hide stimulus problems
05/12/09 The Reagan legacy is the man himself
05/05/09 Sen. Specter, meet your new friends
04/27/09 Ted Olson: ‘Torture’ probes will never end
04/20/09 Who's Laughing at the ‘Axis of Evil’ today?
04/14/09 Congress needs Google to track stimulus money
04/06/09 Beyond AIG: A bill to let Big Government set your salary
03/30/09 On Spending and the Deficit, McCain Was Right
03/24/09 It's Obama's crisis now
03/17/09: Geithner-Obama economics: A joke that's not funny



© 2009, NEA

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles