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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 August 6, 2007 / 22 Menachem-Av 5767

A freshman lawmaker's prescription

By Clarence Page


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Since almost everyone in Washington knows that members of Congress and their staffs have some of the best health insurance in town, you can imagine the surprise that greeted freshman Rep. Steve Kagen when he said he didn't want any.


Until every American has decent health care, he declared, he won't take any for himself.


"I didn't run for Congress to get health-care benefits," the Appleton, Wis., Democrat recalled telling the woman who enrolled new congressmen. "I came to try to get health care for the people back home in my district and across the rest of America."


In case you're wondering, Kagen can afford to go without health-insurance coverage more easily than most of the rest of us can. He's a doctor. His wife is covered at her job, he says, and their kids are grown and have their own coverage.


But the real issue, he points out, is not his coverage, but everyone else's.


"If every congressman had to go to bed hungry, we'd solve the hunger problem," he said. "We need to work just as hard to solve the health-care problem."


For now, as health care rises in importance as a political issue, Kagen embodies the latest generation of advocates to take on the crusade for universal health-care coverage, a crusade that tends to be fought in many smaller battles.


As we spoke last week, for example, the House had just voted to triple the funding for the 10-year-old State Children's Health Insurance Program, known as SCHIP, for low-income children.


Since SCHIP was enacted, the percentage of uninsured children in the U.S. has dropped to 16.9 percent in 2005 from 22.5 percent, according to the Congressional Budget Office, an independent government agency. That leaves about 9 million children without health-care coverage. About 6 million of them would qualify for SCHIP under the House bill, which would add $50 billion to the program, although it has to be reconciled with a more modest Senate version that would add $35 billion.


Yet, no matter how they are reconciled, President Bush has threatened to veto it. He denounces the SCHIP expansion as a sneaky attempt by Democrats to replace private insurance with "government-run health care."


That argument makes me chuckle. The words "government-run health care" are supposed to send shivers down our spines, as if it were something horrible and foreign, perhaps even French.


In fact, we Americans already have a government-provided health insurance that has worked remarkably well and remains remarkably popular. It is called Medicare. It's not perfect, but its approval ratings are a lot higher than those of most politicians.


Unfortunately, Medicare is only for seniors. That doesn't help the 45 million or more, according to various estimates, who don't have coverage — or millions of others who don't find out until the brink of bankruptcy that they and their families are not as well-covered as they think they are.


Kagen knows. Give him a few minutes and the allergy specialist will tell you one story after another about patients who were not following his prescriptions simply because they could not afford the medication. He ran for Congress, he says, so Americans would no longer have to choose between buying their next pill or their next meal.


Yet, he's not a socialist. He likes free markets. He campaigned on a short list of ideas that would "allow everyone to benefit from the efficient delivery of affordable care in a transparent and competitive marketplace."


They include "open disclosure of all health-care related prices." When we health-care consumers ask our providers for the real price of a procedure, we may well be answered with: "What insurance do you have?" Cost controls begin with competition, which begins with the ability of consumers to shop around.


He'd also like to see "unitary pricing," meaning the uninsured should receive the same discounts for health-care products and services that the insured often receive now.


He'd like to see a "single national insurance risk pool." For example, government and the insurance industry could pull together a generic insurance policy that would cover everyone, without exclusions, for pre-existing medical conditions. No one would be forced to choose it, but it would give us all something with which to judge other policies that insurance companies offer.


Deductibles should not exceed 3 percent of a household's taxable federal income, Kagen says. Finally, he'd also like to see a "renewed commitment to cover all uninsured children and working parents."


That's the big prize on which Congress needs to keep its eyes. In the meantime, Kagen makes an important contribution to the art of political compromise. His ideas don't attack the free market. They just try to make it work better for everyone.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on Clarence Page's column by clicking here.

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