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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 July 5, 2012/ 15 Tamuz, 5772

Health care rationing wins up high

By Nat Hentoff




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Amid the huge response -- both triumphant and agonized -- to the Supreme Court's preservation of Obamacare, I was surprised at how little attention was being paid to that law's core purpose: to strongly control health care costs where government funding is involved, as it increasingly will be.

What still shocks me about this law is the government's interference with the doctor-patient relationship. Many government bureaucracies will not pay for doctor-prescribed treatments costing more than a predetermined figure. And none of these bureaucracies' members will have actually seen the individual patient.

This may affect elderly patients in particular, but it can happen at any age.

What has also been hardly mentioned about the high court's decision is its effect on a tax in Obamacare that could have a powerful -- and for some, fatal -- impact on Americans at any age.

In a recent story ("House Acts to Repeal Medical-Device Tax," The New York Times, June 8), Robert Pear, whom I've found to be the most credible reporter on health care issues, tells of the House voting to repeal a tax on medical technology industries that would amount to $29 billion over the next 10 years. This vote came before the Supreme Court ruling.

"The tax," Pear wrote, "would apply to manufacturers and importers of devices like pacemakers and stents, defibrillators, artificial hips and knees, surgical tools and X-ray machines."

The Democratically controlled Senate was not likely to agree with the House, and in any case, Obama pledged to veto it because he'd much rather those billions in tax revenues go to cutting health care costs.

In the furor over the Supreme Court's ruling on Obamacare, there have been only a few tiny mentions about how these medical devices can and do save lives.

Here is my personal story. When I was 69, my cardiologist said to me, "Your life is hanging by a thread." Just enough time for me to collect a couple of books to read in the hospital and then be admitted for open-heart surgery -- a quadruple bypass.

The result: I'm still here typing.

"You're lucky," my doctor told me. "For a long time we didn't know how to do this kind of operation. But then, after a lot of research, a company found the way."

And with the tax on medical devices in Obamacare unimpeded by the Supreme Court ruling, here's a current example of a lifesaving medical device that will get hit with a tax increase:

"In November, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved an innovative product called the Sapien Transcatheter Heart Valve, for the treatment of severe aortic valve stenosis. The Sapien valve can be implanted endoscopically, making it a boon for patients who are too sick to endure open-heart surgery" ("FDA Approvals Are a Matter of Life and Death," The Wall Street Journal, Andrew von Eschenbach and Ralph Hall, June 18).

But because of a longtime outmoded FDA regulatory process, "The Sapien valve has been available in Europe since 2007, saving lives there but not here."

Now even more Americans will be denied the Sapien valve than before with the excise tax burden on medical devices taking effect in January 2013. Noted the Times' Pear: "In anticipation of the tax, some manufa

cturers (of medical devices) have announced plans to lay off workers or reorganize operations."

But even before the tax was revealed, there were warnings from health care researchers that U.S. patients were dying unnecessarily because of stark FDA delays. And, according to the Wall Street Journal report:

"The device industry is leaving. According to a summer 2011 survey by the National Venture Capital Association, in the next three years, 85 percent of venture-backed health-care companies expect to seek regulatory approval for their new products outside the U.S. first."

But as of now, how many of them will even try to get U.S. approval? And if sales of new medical devices decline in the U.S., how many of those companies will decrease their research into these life-sustaining discoveries? These are often enormous investments.

As for Obamacare's cost-efficient bureaucrats deciding how long many of us will continue to be around, almost three years ago I explained that "President Obama and his supporters in Congress insist that clinical studies prove how many needless and expensive tests and procedures are so often performed" ("Be Scared: Obamacare Endangers Our Life Spans," World Net Daily, Dec. 2, 2009).

"But," I added, "these are collective statistics. Individual patients are left out." And to find out what's working for them, each patient has to be monitored and assessed one at a time.

More nakedly and truthfully, I quoted Harvard Medical School professor Dr. James Thrall, who said:

Rulings "based on costs and large group averages, not individuals," made him fear that "we are entering an era of deliberate decisions where we choose to trade people's lives for money."

I beg Mitt Romney to tell us how he will end this trade in American lives for broad cuts in health care budgets. We do need to save money, but raising taxes on lifesaving medical devices while cutting potentially lifesaving tests strikes me as not the American way.

Will the outcome of the November elections tell us and our kids and grandkids whether we still are in what used to be called America, where individual doctors prescribed for the futures of their individual patients?

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.


Nat Hentoff is a nationally renowned authority on the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights and author of several books, including his current work, "The War on the Bill of Rights and the Gathering Resistance". Comment by clicking here.

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