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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 August 5, 2009 / 15 Menachem-Av 5769

Impossible promises

By John Stossel




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I keep reading about health-care "reform," but I have yet to see anyone explain how the government can make it easier for more people to obtain medical services, control the already exploding cost of those services and not interfere with people's most intimate decisions.


You don't need to be a Ph.D. in economics to understand that government cannot do all three things. (Judging by what Paul Krugman writes, a Ph.D. may be an obstacle.)


The New York Times describes a key part of the House bill: "Lawmakers of both parties agree on the need to rein in private insurance companies by banning underwriting practices that have prevented millions of Americans from obtaining affordable insurance. Insurers would, for example, have to accept all applicants and could not charge higher premiums because of a person's medical history or current illness".


No more evil "cherry-picking." No more "discrimination against the sick. But that's not insurance. Insurance is the pooling of resources to cover the cost of a possible but by no means certain misfortune befalling a given individual. Government-subsidized coverage for people already sick is welfare. We can debate whether this is good, but let's discuss it honestly. Calling welfare "insurance" muddies thinking.


Such "reform" must increase the demand for medical services. That will lead to higher prices. Obama tells us that reform will lower costs. But how do you control costs while boosting demand?


The reformers make vague promises about covering the increased demand by cutting other costs. We should know by now that such promises aren't worth a wooden nickel. The savings never materialize.


Some of the savings are supposed to come from Medicare. The Times reports "Lawmakers also agree on proposals to squeeze hundreds of billions of dollars out of Medicare by reducing the growth of payments to hospitals and many other health care providers."


With the collapse of the socialist countries, we ought to understand that bureaucrats cannot competently set prices. When they pay too little, costs are covertly shifted to others, or services dry up. When they pay too much, scarce resources are diverted from other important uses and people must go without needed goods. Only markets can assure that people have reasonable access to resources according to each individual's priorities.


Assume Medicare reimbursements are cut. When retirees begin to feel the effects, AARP will scream bloody murder. The elderly vote in large numbers, and their powerful lobbyists will be listened to.


The government will then give up that strategy and turn to what the Reagan administration called "revenue enhancement": higher taxes on the "rich." When that fails, because there aren't enough rich to soak, the politicians will soak the middle class. When that fails, they will turn to more borrowing. The Fed will print more money, and we'll have more inflation. Everyone will be poorer.


The Times story adds: "They are committed to rewarding high-quality care, by paying for the value, rather than the volume, of [Medicare] services."


Value to whom? When someone buys a service in the market, that indicates he values it more than what he gives up for it. But when the taxpayers subsidize the buyer, the link between benefit and cost is broken. Market discipline disappears.


Listening to the health-care debate, I hear Republicans and Democrats saying it's wrong to deny anyone anything. That head-in-the-sand attitude is why Medicare has a $36-trillion unfunded liability. It's not sustainable — and they know it.


They've given us a system that now can be saved only if bureaucrats limit coverage by second-guessing retirees' decisions. Government will decide which Medicare services have value and which do not. Retirees may have a different opinion.


One may be willing to give up the last year of life if he's in pain and has little hope for recovery. Another may want to fight to the end. But when taxpayers pay, the state will make one choice for all retirees.


Now, to reduce the financial burden of the medical system, Obama proposes a plan that inevitably will extend the second-guessing to the rest of us. So much for his promise not to interfere with our medical decisions.

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© 2009, by JFS Productions, Inc. Distributed by Creators Syndicate, Inc.

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