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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 July 20, 2009 / 28 Tamuz 5769

Obama's turning point

By David Broder



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Sooner than anyone had anticipated, President Obama's drive for health reform has reached a crucial decision point — one that may well determine the fate of his biggest domestic initiative.


The White House plan had been to use the big Democratic majorities in Congress to get the necessary bills through the House and Senate before the Aug. 7 summer recess — knowing that the measures would have holes in them and would probably not resemble each other.


By Labor Day, congressional staff could fill in the gaps and — with guidance from Obama's aides — assemble a hybrid measure that could win support on each side of the Capitol. That final version, officials at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue said, would have to meet Obama's criteria — expanding health insurance coverage to virtually all Americans but not adding to the budget deficit.


Because those two goals are hard to reconcile, Obama wanted to put off as long as possible the day of reckoning when the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the official scorekeeper on legislation, would assess how fiscally realistic the plan looked to be.


But on Thursday, just as three House committees that share jurisdiction on health matters were preparing to rush a bill to the floor, CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf told the Democrats that they were about to bust the budget. None of the bills he had seen contain "the sort of fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of federal health spending by a significant amount."


"And on the contrary, the legislation significantly expands the federal responsibility for health-care costs," he said.


Elmendorf is not alone in arguing that the legislators ought to go back to the drawing board. A day earlier, Mike Leavitt, the last secretary of health and human services in the George W. Bush administration, told me and other reporters that the House bill "does nothing to solve the problem of the escalating cost of health care."


In a separate phone interview, Ken Thorpe, an academic expert who worked on the Clintons' effort 16 years ago, said, "There is nothing in the current legislation that will reduce private insurance premiums" — and not nearly enough to contain the rising costs of Medicare.


Glenn Hackbarth, the head of a Medicare advisory commission chartered by Congress, testified last month that the kind of minor fee adjustments and pilot projects included in the House bill "will not fix the problems" of runaway costs.


All of them agree that the fee-for-service system that pays each hospital for each test given to each patient, and each doctor for each office visit and exam, spurs a relentless drive for volume without making anyone accountable for preventing illness and maintaining good health. There is no reward for coordinated care.


Elmendorf cited the same defects in the pending bills' gestures toward cost control and added a complaint that Congress has balked at challenging the wasteful policy of making even the most lavish employer-paid health insurance plans tax-free to both the company and the worker.


The Democrats drafting the House bill turned down any cap on the value of such plans, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is pressuring senators to do the same thing, even though their action feeds medical inflation and makes it far harder to finance expanded coverage.


A survey released the same day Elmendorf dropped his bomb showed how Obama could still come out on top. The poll, for America's Agenda, a labor and business group backing health reform, by Democrat Celinda Lake and Republican Bill McInturff found bipartisan voter support for an agenda emphasizing cost containment more than insuring the uninsured.


One of the key elements of that agenda is moving toward a time when everyone could be cared for by a team of health-care professionals coordinated by a primary-care doctor — the opposite of today's fee-for-service medicine.


All this left Obama facing a choice. He could encourage his congressional allies to push ahead quickly with plans that pretty clearly are badly flawed and overly expensive. Or he could ask them to reconsider and step up to the structural changes that could deliver the kind of reform voters want — and might actually be able to afford.


On Friday, Obama urged lawmakers not to slow down — even as doubts grow about the path they are on.

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