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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 7, 2009 / 17 Menachem-Av 5769

Obama an Unwitting Catalyst for Free Market Health Care Reform?

By David Limbaugh




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Liberals say Republicans have no health care solutions. So their answer is to give us more of what caused most of the problems we have today: government intervention and control.


Perhaps it is true that Republicans haven't been aggressive enough in pursuing free market solutions because they are so intimidated by Democratic demagoguery at every step and so conditioned to believing that liberal lite (such as a new prescription drug entitlement) is the only product that will fly in the Beltway.


But President Barack Obama's radical socialist prescriptions might be the best catalyst for the resurrection of conservative ideas since Ronald Reagan.


Before we have a prayer at achieving sweeping market reforms, however, we must do a better job of making the case that government meddling in the health care industry to date — e.g., mandates, laws and regulations — has been the major source of our problems with both overall medical costs and insurance coverage.


Liberals believe evil profiteers cause price hikes, but their own do-gooder laws and regulations are the culprits. Yes, medical costs are higher because we demand (and receive) the best cutting-edge drugs, technology and treatment. But the only way to reduce these costs is to settle for lesser quality, as has every nation that has socialized health care, or to outlaw drug company profits, which would virtually end the willingness of risk-taking investors to finance groundbreaking medical research.


But we can do something about the spiraling medical inflation caused by overreaching, ill-advised tax laws and overreaching mandates.


Sixty percent of Americans have employer-provided health insurance, largely because of tax laws incentivizing employers to provide that benefit. Such laws have insulated us from the true costs of our medical care. These laws mask the fact that we are really paying for that benefit in lesser compensation and also create the illusion that we are getting free health care. As a result, the demand for health care has artificially skyrocketed, with people consuming more than they would as prudent consumers who believed they were paying for it themselves.


Just as significantly, onerous government-mandated coverage requirements have caused an explosion in insurance rates because they have drastically reduced the ability of the market to craft and make available less expensive plans that meet the particular needs of medical consumers.


"Compassionate" state legislators have deluged us with unintended but foreseeable consequences in this area by enacting laws requiring health plans to offer or pay for specified treatments, such as those for alcoholism.


In her "The Top Ten Myths of American Health Care," Sally Pipes documents that in 1979, there were only 252 mandate laws in force, but by 2007, there were 1,901. Many of these mandates, she notes — such as those pertaining to massage therapy, breast reduction and hair prosthesis — "are hardly critical components of a good health insurance policy." But they exist, she says, because special interest groups have successfully lobbied state lawmakers to require all policies to cover them.


She provides a sampling of excessive state-mandated treatments that are covered, including: acupuncture, alcoholism treatment, athletic trainers, breast reduction, contraceptives, dieticians, drug abuse treatment, hair prosthesis, home health care, hormone replacement therapy, in vitro fertilization, marriage therapy, massage therapy, nature treatments, pastoral counseling, Port-stain elimination, professional counseling, smoking cessation, speech therapy and varicose vein removal.


When you force every insurance company to cover these things, you're bound to drive up insurance costs. People who wouldn't consider paying for these treatments themselves get them because they're covered, thus increasing demand and prices.


Further unintended consequences of these "compassionate" mandates are that premiums are increased, reducing the ability of young people to procure low-premium catastrophe-only policies and causing other citizens to forgo all coverage. The higher premiums, mostly borne by employers, cause a downward pressure on wages and employment.


In response to an anticipated objection, I might add that a RAND Corp. study showed that people enrolled in catastrophic-only plans spent about two-thirds as much as those on full coverage, with health outcomes virtually identical.


President Obama can, through Draconian price controls, superficially cap medical costs, but not without rationing, black markets and reductions in quality care and not without shifting costs elsewhere.


But Pipes offers a number of free market solutions that would reduce costs while increasing choice and access without compromising the quality of care: changing the tax code by giving individuals the same tax break as employers on health expenses; drastically reducing government mandates, including those that smother competition by prohibiting consumers from crossing state lines to buy insurance; expanding health savings accounts; supporting retail health clinics; implementing tort reform; and providing vouchers for the working poor and chronically uninsured.


Liberals will scream bloody murder at the very idea of losing their control over our lives, but this is nevertheless what we need to do — yesterday.

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David Limbaugh, a columnist and attorney practicing in Cape Girardeau, Mo. Comment by clicking here.


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