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 August 5, 2009 / 15 Menachem-Av 5769

The Villains of Health Care

By Paul Greenberg

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | If the Republicans in Washington are smart, and I'm not saying they are, they'd do well to get out of Nancy Pelosi's way. She may be just about the best politician the GOP has these days. Every time Madam Speaker goes on camera, you can almost hear Democrats' approval ratings drop.

This time she's after insurance companies. To hear her tell it, you'd think the insurance companies ought to be in the business of going out of business. Here's her latest gem:

"It's almost immoral what (insurance companies) are doing. Of course they've been immoral all along in how they have treated the people they insure. They are the villains. They have been part of the problem in a major way. They are doing everything in their power to stop a public option from happening."

Outrageous, isn't it? These companies object to being put out of business, which is what offering folks lower-cost government insurance (the "public option") at public expense would surely do. How dare insurance companies want to go on insuring folks! Why can't they agree to just to roll over and die?

Wait a minute. Our president, who knows how to make a promise, as the election returns last year demonstrated, said that if we're happy with our present health-care coverage — and the polls indicate that a vast majority of us are — then we can keep it. As the president says, "Period."

But that period comes with a little asterisk attached, doesn't it, Mr. President? Followed by 1,000 pages or so of small type not many of us have seen, let alone read.

Buried somewhere in there, like a big-jawed alligator barely visible under the surface of a stagnant pond, is a plan to organize public insurance pools for families with incomes up to four times the poverty level. For instance, a family of four making up to $44,000 a year.

Folks with the same income who are insured through their workplace wouldn't get near the same subsidy or tax break. Naturally they would start drifting over to the government-organized pools, or "exchanges." Which would drive the cost of the subsidies to the taxpayers way up — far higher than what the president has told us his plan would cost. This is, after all, a federal program. It will grow.

Then there is the speaker's "public option," or government health insurance. It would soon enough begin to absorb those who have entered the new insurance pools. As more and more people opted out of private for public insurance, the number of people with private policies would shrink.

Can you see a trend here? In place of a private insurance market, there would begin to develop a highly centralized, government-administered, distant system of health care. With decisions made by bureaucrats, "experts," paper pushers. Start thinking of your doctor as either a public employee or someone who'll have to report to one.

Here's what some of us are looking for in a health-insurance plan: Will it allow us to choose our own doctor and our own insurance policy? Will it let those who provide our health care order the tests and treatments they consider necessary, or will it hamper them?

Do we get to consult our own physician or is our fate in the hands of Doctor Obama with his glib talk of red pills and blue pills, and how there's really no difference between them except in cost? Oh, and our president is an expert on tonsillectomies, too, and how many should be done. (When he talks medicine, he's almost as convincing as some doctors I know talking oh-so-expertly about politics.)

Another question: Will this country's great big new health-care system get all those lawyers off our doctor's back, and just let the country's physicians practice medicine? Instead of having to practice it defensively? Is there anything in this developing thousand-page mass of rules and regs that will lower the medical malpractice premiums that keep driving up the cost of health-care?

Will this bill give individuals the same tax breaks on their health insurance as businesses are now allowed? Will it let us take our insurance with us when we switch jobs or lose one? Will it encourage good health? By, say, giving discounts to those of us who don't smoke?

Meeting all these requirements would do — for a start.

Surely no one would argue that the current (non)system of American health care is perfect. Far from it. But there is no imperfect system that, with just the right mix of government mandates and complicated reform, can't be made perfectly awful. See Britain's national health scheme.

Just remember what a good job Congress did at giving the country affordable housing through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and their sub-prime loans, which brought on one heck of a sub-prime economy. And now Congress is going to make health care affordable, too. Lord help us.

Isn't it amazing, considering how sorry insurance companies are, that most of us are satisfied with the coverage we've got now?

Americans want answers, and instead we get melodrama. We get a speaker of the House calling insurance companies "villains."

Until we get some clear answers about the administration's national health insurance scheme, we're not about to let anybody pry that insurance policy out of our hands. Especially Nancy Pelosi.

But if Madam Speaker will just keep on harping, there'll be little danger of that. She's got to be the most distrusted politician in the country. And the competition for that dubious distinction is something fierce.

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JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here. Paul Greenberg Archives

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