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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 27, 2009 / 6 Menachem-Av 5769

Health reform Utah's way

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In a way, it's too bad President Obama tapped Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman to serve as ambassador to China.


The ambassador-designee promised a Senate panel Thursday that, if confirmed, he would press American values in China. If only the Obama administration would press Huntsman's health-care reform values here in the United States.


As governor, Huntsman has overseen a blueprint for the overhaul of Utah's health-care system that could be a model for a more rational approach to national reform. In one fell swoop, Obama effectively eliminated one of the most qualified Republicans to challenge his health-care reform, as well as a leading contender to spearhead a Republican coup in 2012.


Nobody ever said the president "acted stupidly." Alas, Huntsman, whose talents include speaking Mandarin Chinese, was also perfectly suited to the China position.


Oh well, c'est la guerre.


In Huntsman's likely absence — and given that the national health-care plan as proposed has no chance of survival — perhaps we should take a look at what he will leave behind. Rather than dismantle Utah's health-care system, Huntsman homed in on the central problems and put mechanisms in place to fix them.


What a stunning idea. Revolutionary in its respect for rational human behavior, Huntsman's plan, scheduled to take effect this fall, begs to be admired up close. (The Obama plan, by the way, wouldn't start until 2013, in case you were trying to plan a gallbladder operation. Might want to check in at Florence Nightingale Hospital in Istanbul.)


Many of the problems afflicting Utah are among the same that plague us nationally. But Utah, unlike Washington, has sought practical, consensus solutions for the real problems rather than a sweeping remake that puts government in control.


One of the most crucial problems, locally and nationally, is that most of the uninsured earn low wages and often work in small firms. Thus, Utah has created an exchange focused on improving insurance options for them and leaves alone those who have good insurance today. And the exchange facilitates consumer choice based on price transparency, not government regulation and control.


One reform, for example, creates portable coverage — insurance policies that workers can take with them when they leave or change jobs and that can be paid for with pre-tax dollars. Utah consumers also can pick the insurance program that best suits them, taking into consideration cost and level of benefits needed. To assist, the state launched a Web site where consumers can compare policies, pricing and financing, and sign up electronically — all in one place.


Not surprisingly, Utah's plan resulted from months of research, consensus-building and meetings among legislators, health-care providers, insurers, businesses and community members. It hasn't happened quickly, in other words — nor is the process over. A few problems have been resolved using the best free-market principles, while others will be tackled down the road.


That is to say, health care is complicated and reform takes time. Like Obama, Huntsman recognized the abysmal condition of his state's health-care system and declared in 2005 that doing nothing was not an option. Though they share the same goal, the two leaders have taken significantly different approaches. Notably missing in Utah was the rush-rush-rush mentality adopted by the Obama administration.


If the plan is so good, why the hurry?


The House bill was delivered in mid-July and Obama wanted a vote before the August break. If it's so great, why not give everyone time to read it carefully and vet it publicly? The Senate's decision Thursday to postpone consideration of the bill until the fall met with qualified approval from Obama. Insisting that he wants to get the bill right, Obama also said that he hopes postponement isn't a tactic to kill health-care reform.


The reason for the rush is politics, of course, but that's no excuse when so much is at stake. That Republicans have been slow, and frankly negligent, in producing their own alternatives is also no excuse now to ignore good ideas.


Compared to what's being trotted around the Asylum on the Hill, Utah's bipartisan reform project sounds downright dreamy. Simple and geared toward the consumer, it was designed under the operating principle that Americans are capable of making their own decisions, whereas the Obama plan presumes that only government can solve the problem.


Government has a place, to be sure. But as Huntsman and his team have demonstrated, government's best role is in creating mechanisms for people to help themselves.

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