In this issue
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 March 19, 2012/ 25 Adar, 5772

On mandate, Romney plays both sides

By Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | They say all things must end, but the wrangling over Mitt Romney's support for an individual health insurance mandate persists without letup.

It has been nearly six years since Romney, with much fanfare, signed the Massachusetts health care overhaul into law. On the eve of the signing ceremony, he had praised the bill's requirement that every resident obtain health insurance, and suggested with pride that the rest of the nation might want to follow the Bay State's lead. "How much of our health care plan applies to other states?'' he wrote in The Wall Street Journal . "A lot.''

It was a message he would reiterate time and again.

"I'm proud of what we've done,'' Romney told a Baltimore audience in February 2007. "If Massachusetts succeeds in implementing it, then that will be a model for the nation.'' In Iowa that summer, he waxed enthusiastic about the new law and its mandate: "We have to have our citizens insured,'' he insisted. "What you have to do is what we did in Massachusetts. Is it perfect? No. But we say, let's rely on personal responsibility. . . No more free rides.''

In the spring of 2009, as congressional debate over Obamacare intensified, Romney was asked on CNN's "State of the Union'' whether his 2006 law was a good model for the nation. His answer: "Well, I think so!'' A few weeks later he again touted the Massachusetts scheme for "getting every citizen insured'' as one Washington should heed: "Using tax penalties as we did encourages 'free riders' to take responsibility for themselves rather than pass their medical costs on to others. ''

If anything should be uncontested by now, it is Romney's faith in the wisdom of a Massachusetts-style mandate for health insurance. Yet the debate rages on.

Rick Santorum last week accused Romney of not telling the truth when he claimed "that somehow or other he was not for mandates on a federal level.'' Romney's spokeswoman fired back, accusing Santorum of "exaggerations and falsehoods,'' and avowing that her boss never backed a federal individual mandate. The Democratic National Committee weighed in with an ad mocking Romney as being "against individual mandates - except when he's for them.'' Glenn Kessler cried foul in The Washington Post, noting that Romney has often expressed support for a state-by-state approach to health insurance. Nonsense, replied Reason magazine's Peter Suderman . "If you look at [Romney's] record, it's hard to conclude that he did not support copying the Massachusetts plan at the federal level, including the mandate.''

What's really going on here, it seems to me, is not disagreement over what Romney has said, but a quarrel over what he believes. No one disputes that he has praised Romneycare's individual mandate, extolled it as "conservative,'' and pronounced it a success lawmakers elsewhere should emulate. Nor is there any doubt that he has repeatedly invoked the value of state-by-state reforms . Romney often draws a distinction between a state-level mandate like the one imposed in Massachusetts and the unconstitutional mandate imposed nationally by Obamacare.

But the problem has never been that Romney yearns to force a Massachusetts-style insurance mandate on the nation. It's whether he still thinks such mandates are a good idea . "When it's all said and done,'' he told Tim Russert in December 2007, "after all these states that are the laboratories of democracy try their own plans, those who follow the path that we pursued will find it's the best path, and we'll end up with a nation that's taken a mandate approach.'' Romney has never disavowed that attitude. And for many liberty-minded GOP voters, that's not a minor issue.

Romneycare grows steadily more onerous - the annual penalty for not buying health insurance in Massachusetts now runs as high as $1,260. Obamacare remains far from popular . Naturally Romney now prefers to emphasize the part of his health care plan that would let states decide these issues for themselves. And to be sure, a president who respected federalism would be an improvement.

But far better would be a president who understood that it is not government's job at any level to coax or compel everyone to get medical insurance. Better yet would be a president who resisted, instead of encouraging, our overreliance on insurance to pay for routine health care. Romney salutes free-market principles, yet he continues to hail Romneycare as a success. The two positions are incompatible. So long as Romney lays claim to both, the wrangling over what he really believes will never end.

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Jeff Jacoby is a Boston Globe columnist. Comment by clicking here.

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