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 Feb. 14, 2005 / 5 Adar I, 5765

Romance enhanced, Medicare style

By Tom Purcell

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Everyone's hooting and hollering about the high costs of Medicare, but they haven't seen nothin' yet.

In 2003, our politicians, headed by the president, pushed through a massive new entitlement that will cover the cost of prescription drugs for folks over 65. The idea, apparently, was to win votes from elderly folks who hardly ever miss heading to the polls.

While our politicians debated the bill, Bush estimated the drug program would cost $400 billion over a 10-year period. He later revised that number to $534 billion. But both numbers were not entirely accurate.

This is because the Bush folks used a 10-year period that included 2004 and 2005, though the costs of the new entitlement don't kick in until 2006. In other words, only eight of the 10 years covered in the first estimate required taxpayers to cover the sizable cost of drugs.

Last week the Medicare people released a new 10-year estimate of $720 billion. This number is much larger than the first estimate because it begins in 2006, when the drug entitlement becomes fully active, and runs though 2015.

Opportunist Democrats jumped all over the huge price tag, accusing Bush of incompetence, lying and the regular stuff. But as usual they, and a lot of other Washington types, are missing the real problem with Medicare spending.

The real problem is Viagra.

Thanks to the generosity of our entitlement entities, Medicare will cover the cost of a host of FDA approved drugs beginning in 2006. Believe it or not, the coverage includes "impotence agents," such as Viagra, Levitra and Cialis. The Medicare folks say if a drug is FDA approved, then Medicare has to cover it.

Sure, they promise there will be controls in place to prevent abuse. But "control" in federal-government-speak means "pretty soon we'll be handing these things out on street corners by the bushel."

And with good reason. What Washington politician is going to have the courage to curtail anything that has to do with Viagra?

"Once you create a universal entitlement," says Robert E. Moffit, a health care analyst at the Heritage Foundation, "the tendency is for that entitlement to expand."

He said it, not I.

And he's right. Currently, America spends about $1 billion a year on enhancement drugs, but that is mostly with their own dough. What will happen in 2014, when the huge baby-boom generation is retiring in huge numbers and millions more will be covered under Medicare?

A little prediction: if you think America's elderly wives are spending too much time at the mall now, wait until their husbands' libidos are rekindled by the largesse of the good ole U.S. of A.

Who knows where this is all going to end. If the government's going to underwrite Viagra, then what medication won't they underwrite? And when our pharmaceutical firms start finding clever ways to exploit the meaning of "medically necessary," what won't be covered?

Even now, before the party has kicked into high gear, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the cost of the Medicare drug entitlement could reach $2 trillion during its second decade. That's $200 billion a year versus $70 billion a year during its first decade.

That means we have a pressure-cooker of a problem just waiting to explode -- just waiting to burden future generations with ever-increasing costs. That's why some argue that this bill is a train wreck waiting to happen and that the only reasonable thing to do is modify it before it's too late.

I have a better idea. I'm going to buy stock in Viagra. Once Uncle Sam starts pimping the stuff for free, I'll surely enjoy a sizable return.

And I'll need every penny to cover my taxes, which are going to soar now that the government has got into the romance business.

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© 2005, Tom Purcell