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

Health politics quagmire

By Tony Blankley

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The president's health care initiative is vulnerable to defeat (and the high esteem in which the public generally has held him is in jeopardy) because of unforced errors on his part deriving from the emerging legislation's failing to carry out his stated policy and because of his political and policy responses to that problem.

His policy has been that:

  • We have an obligation to provide health care for virtually all American citizens without increasing the deficit.

  • To gain economic recovery, we must, this year, pass health legislation that eventually would bring down health care costs.

  • Voters with incomes of less than $250,000 will not have their taxes raised. However, the Congressional Budget Office has found that the legislation

would not cover virtually all of the uninsured; it would increase the deficit by more than $1 trillion; it would increase in the long term, rather than reduce, the overall cost of health care; and the president has proposed more than $9 trillion in new deficits so far overall.

The strategic contradictions between the president's vision and the emerging legislative reality are turning his own visionary words against the rationale for his actual legislation — particularly among those who supported his vision. This is draining positive political energy from his base supporters.

Moreover, the public's fear of unprecedented deficits now exceeds its desire for general health care reform; a majority of the public now fears that the president's specific health care legislation may reduce the quality of their care; and about 8 in 10 voters are satisfied with the health care insurance they have. Thus, among his soft supporters, independents and soft opposition, support for his health initiative is either softening or turning into opposition.

Ominously, according to the daily Gallup tracking poll of presidential job approval, not only was the public lowering its regard for the president's health policy but also, as the president was sent out every day by his staff to personally make health care arguments with which only about 40 percent of the public agreed, these attitudes started branding the president personally, and his overall job approval level slid almost a point a day for several days.

As the White House was gripped by the foregoing developments, officials began to change their objectives and methods. Thus, in a rare — and ill-considered — public speech, the president's pollster, Joel Benenson, told the Economic Club of Canada that polling revealed that although elements of the health care reform plan aren't too popular, people "think the insurance companies have been the villains here, not the government."

So a week ago, the White House and its Democratic Party allies recalibrated their rhetoric away from the old, positive presidential vision and started targeting the insurance industry. In North Carolina, the president told an audience that the existing system "works well for the insurance industry, but it doesn't always work well for you. ... What we need — and what we will have when we pass these reforms — are health insurance consumer protections to make sure that those who have insurance are treated fairly and insurance companies are held accountable."

The danger for the administration now is that as it shifts from the former inclusive, positive message to the new divisive, negative message, factual accuracy and rhetorical tone easily can get out of control. For example, while the president's words, quoted above, were tonally safe, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a few days later shrieked about the private insurance companies. "They are the villains in this," she said. "They have been part of the problem in a major way."

According to the newspaper The Hill, "As (Pelosi) prepare(d) to send her members home for the month of August having not voted on a healthcare bill — a deadline the Speaker said she would meet for President Obama — (she) said she was urging those members to go on the attack against the private insurance industry."

Yet, again according to The Hill, the health insurance industry "has already agreed to new regulations key to the Democratic proposals (other than the public insurance provision), such as no longer denying coverage because of pre-existing conditions and no longer using health status or gender to establish insurance premiums."

Thus, as the president's allies continue to mischaracterize and demonize the insurance industry, there may be unanticipated political effects. While it is doubtlessly true that many people don't trust insurance companies, it may be politically unwise to insult an entire industry.

After all, I estimate that the insurance sector of our economy employs more than 2 million adults, who have more than a million spouses and adult, voting children. Also, there are perhaps another million retired former insurance industry employees, for a total of more than 4 million voters, about 10,000 voters per congressional district — or about 3 percent of total votes cast per congressional district. Is it really helpful for Democratic members of Congress to demonize — and threaten the livelihoods and honor of — all those nice American voters?

Then last weekend, both the president's treasury secretary and his senior economic adviser, shooting at something or other with both barrels, predicted that to get the deficits they are raising back down again, the president may have to raise taxes on the middle class. Here's a thought: If Congress doesn't increase the deficit by trillions, it doesn't need to raise middle-class taxes by trillions. Going down?

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.


Tony Blankley is executive vice president of Edelman public relations in Washington. Comment by clicking here.

© 2009, Creators Syndicate