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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 Oct. 25, 2006 / 3 Mar-Cheshvan, 5767

Getting medical insurance from your boss is a bad idea

By John Stossel


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | According to the new "ABC News" poll on health care, Americans are eager to have the government force employers to provide heath insurance: "Nearly eight in 10 favor a federal requirement that all employers offer insurance to their full-time workers."


Why?! Do our employers pay for our food, clothing, or shelter? If they did, why would that be good? Having my health care tied to my boss invites him to snoop into my private health issues, and if I change jobs, I lose coverage.


Employer-paid health insurance isn't free. It just means we get insurance instead of higher salaries. I'd rather have the cash and buy my own insurance. Companies only provide it because of a World War II-era tax break that never went away.


But people think it's something for nothing. In Maryland, the legislature even tried to single out Wal-Mart for a special employee health-insurance mandate. Luckily, the courts struck down that law. It would have some cost workers their jobs, and all of them would have been paid less.


Anyway, insurance is a terrible way to pay for things. It's expensive and wasteful. Some years ago, an insurance CEO said that it costs $35-$50 to process a $25 claim.


Insurance burdens us with paperwork, invites cheating, and, worst of all, creates a moral hazard that distorts incentives. The first question people ask a doctor who recommends a test is not "Do I really need that?" but "Does my insurance cover it?" Insurance raises costs by insulating consumers from medicine's real prices.


Suppose you had grocery insurance. With your employer paying 80 percent of the bill, you would fill the cart with lobster and filet mignon. Everything would cost more because demand would rise and supermarkets would stop running sales. Why should they — when their customers barely care about the price?


Suppose everyone had transportation insurance. The roads would be crowded with Mercedes. Why buy a Chevy if your employer pays?


We have gotten so used to having "other people" pay for most of our heath care that we routinely ask for insurance with low or no deductibles. This is another bad idea.


Suppose car insurance worked that way. Every time you got a little dent or the paint faded, or every time you bought gas or changed the oil, you'd fill out endless forms and wait for reimbursement from your insurance company. Gas and mechanic's prices would quickly rise because service stations would know that you no longer cared about the price. You'd become more wasteful: jackrabbit starts, speeding, wasted gas. Who cares? At most you're paying 20 percent of the bill.


Insurance invites waste. That's a reason health care costs so much, and is often so consumer-unfriendly. In the few areas where there are free markets in health care — such as cosmetic medicine and LASIK eye surgery — customer service is great, and prices continue to drop.


The ABC News poll suggests that people understand that. When asked about "consumer-directed plans," "nearly eight in 10 Americans think that allowing people to shop around for their own medical care would be an effective way to control costs." But many people still want a free lunch: "consumer-driven care looks less popular if it's accompanied by the risk of higher out-of-pocket expenses."


Somehow people seem to believe "insured" means free.


This is not to say that we don't need insurance. We need it to protect us against financial catastrophes that could result from a stroke or heart attack. That's why Health Savings Accounts, which cover smaller out-of-pocket health expenditures, are paired with high-deductible catastrophic insurance. That's a good thing.


But America's demand that insurance cover everything from pets to dental work puts us on slide toward bankruptcy.

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.

JUST OUT FROM STOSSEL
Myths, Lies and Downright Stupidity: Get Out the Shovel --- Why Everything You Know Is Wrong  

Stossel mines his 20/20 segments for often engaging challenges to conventional wisdom, presenting a series of "myths" and then deploying an investigative journalism shovel to unearth "truth." This results in snappy debunkings of alarmism, witch-hunts, satanic ritual abuse prosecutions and marketing hokum like the irradiated-foods panic, homeopathic medicine and the notion that bottled water beats tap. Stossel's libertarian convictions make him particularly fond of exposes of government waste and regulatory fiascoes. Sales help fund JWR.



JWR contributor John Stossel is co-anchor of ABC News' "20/20." To comment, please click here.


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