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
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
: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain
April 14, 2014
Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time
: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic
: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships
: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin
: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate
: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure
April 11, 2014
Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden
: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does
: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer
: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You
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
: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau
: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease
April 8, 2014
Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease
Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear
April 4, 2014
A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children
Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet
Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds
Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves
April 2, 2014
Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?
Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities
It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene
Jewish World Review
Nov. 1, 2013
/ 27 Mar-Cheshvan, 5774
What Obamacare has cost Dems
In one of the few political jokes attributed to a physicist, Ernest Rutherford once described a public official as being “like a Euclidean point: he has position without magnitude.”
With a change of pronoun, he could have been describing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who ignored internal warnings about flaws in HealthCare.gov, botched its rollout, minimized her involvement and blamed her contractors. Now, in congressional testimony, she has accepted responsibility without the inconvenience of accountability or the demonstration of competence.
Administration incompetence is not the final word on Obamacare, but it is the initial impression. In the realm of branding, the Affordable Care Act, so far, bears less resemblance to Britain’s popular National Health Service than it does to the local department of motor vehicles. This may be temporary. But it is not politically insignificant that the largest recent expansion of government should exactly confirm the worst stereotypes of government.
For the Obama administration, however, the consequences of incompetence are not only ideological.
Any vastly ambitious law produces winners and losers. The losers, in this case, include millions of people who currently have what Obamacare regards as the wrong sort of insurance — not comprehensive enough to cover, say, prescription drugs or pediatric dental care. These citizens are losing coverage because the government no longer approves of the product they are buying, forcing them to purchase a different — and often more expensive — product.
Eventually there will be other losers: people dropped from full-time to part-time employment to skirt Obamacare mandates, people forced out of private coverage into Medicaid, people who live in rural areas where the choices in the exchanges will be limited.
Obamacare has winners as well, particularly those with preexisting conditions and young adults who want to stay on their parents’ health insurance. The problem for Democrats now is that the winners can’t be effectively highlighted. The administration had hoped to spend November and December countering stories about the losers with positive, emotional stories of people with cancer or some other ailment finally getting coverage. The administration’s incompetence has made this impossible. Instead, it has gotten headlines like this one from NBC News: “Obama Administration Knew Millions Could Not Keep Their Health Insurance.”
The case for Obamacare was never going to be easy. The program was sold as a middle-class benefit but it actually benefits a subset of the middle class. Federal subsidies go up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level — $45,960 for an individual — with much larger help at the bottom than the top. The law also mandates that younger and healthier people purchase comprehensive coverage. So the program benefits older, lower-middle-class people while placing new burdens on younger, upper-middle-class people. Like elsewhere in the welfare state, the young come out behind.
So there is a serious gap between the simplicity of the message that sold Obamacare and the complexity of the law’s outcomes. And the karmic consequences for the president and his party are considerable.
First, Obama’s credibility is undermined. “If you like your health-care plan,” he said, “you will be able to keep your health-care plan. Period.” It was the most emphatic, unqualified, high-profile public-policy promise since “Read my lips” — and its violation is at least as discrediting.
Second, Democrats have muddied their central political appeal of siding with the middle class. Some in that large, elastic category will come out ahead. Others will see their premiums dramatically increase without qualifying for subsidies. One self-employed pregnant woman who has recently lost coverage is quoted in the Los Angeles Times: “It doesn’t seem right to make the middle class pay so much more in order to give health insurance to everybody else.” Democrats will be forced to answer: It depends on what you mean by middle class.
Third, these challenges are beginning to divide the Democratic coalition. Many unions, already unhappy about Obamacare fees on group plans, are not rallying to defend the law. And many Democratic politicians will be tempted to distance themselves from Obamacare as dysfunction extends from weeks to months. This face plant, after all, took place on the first hurdle. It is far from clear whether the exchange risk pools will be large enough and diverse enough a year from now to work properly.
These last few weeks offer some hard lessons for Democrats: Those who pass a partisan health law own it. And those who believe in government are not necessarily capable of running one.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
Comment on Michael Gerson's column by clicking here.
10/29/13 In 6 months will this column prove prophetic?
10/22/13 Obamacare repair: It could become a crisis for modern liberalism
10/04/13 The GOP should speed Obamacare's demise. Right now, it's not
10/03/13 The tea party's revolt
09/30/13 The end of compromise?
09/17/13 A state of paralysis: Congress, Obama need to act
09/12/13 In full retreat on Syria
09/10/13 Obama misunderstands wartime leadership
09/09/13 Rallying around a gesture
08/30/13 The preacher and the politician
08/27/13 Is Obama's oft-cited best-case scenario in Syria still even possible?
08/23/13 Jordan's wary welcome
08/20/13 The hardest goodbye: A parent letting go
08/16/13 For GOP, opposition shouldn't only mean obstruction
08/13/13 Crazy, humane determination creates breakthrough for millions
08/09/13 America's bubble of complacency
07/01/11 The GOP's ideal America
03/04/11 The last doughboy and the emergence of a great nation
03/01/11 Conservatives shouldn't be so surprised by freedom
02/22/11 The progression of pain
02/18/11 The seriousness primary
02/11/11 Do Egypt's protests mean American decline?
01/27/11 No-bend Obama
01/21/11 Two good arguments for civility -- and passion -- in politics
01/11/11 Obama's staff changes give him a second chance
01/11/11 Is Arizona shooting an empty search for meaning?
01/07/11 WikiLeaks gives dangerous ammunition to a tyrant
01/04/11 Michael Vick: Symbol of the second chance
12/28/10 Social Security reform is the answer to Obama's problems --- and the nation's
12/21/10 When foreign policy realism isn't realistic
12/17/10 When it comes to politics, Obama's ego keeps getting in the way
11/26/10 Libs resort to conspiracy theories to explain Obama's problems
11/19/10 With Holder at the helm, detainee policy is a disaster
11/12/10 Blue-state budget crises spell even more trouble for Dems
10/19/10 Obama the snob
10/12/10 Seeds of victory in Afghanistan
10/05/10 Believers' remorse
10/04/10 Pound-foolish on national security
09/28/10 Babylon on the Potomac
09/27/10 Our reluctant commander in chief
09/21/10 Blue strongholds are becoming Democratic graveyards
09/17/10 For the GOP, a bittersweet brew from the Tea Party
09/15/10: Insanity's great enablers
09/13/10: The lost communicator
09/08/10: Will 2010 midterms be 1994 all over again?
09/01/10: Obama's economic wandering
08/27/10: Miracles from abroad
08/25/10: Address these issues in order to strengthen the Tea Party
08/20/10: The lost promise of Barack Obama
07/23/10: Obama's greatest nightmare
02/04/09: The Reality of Innocence
01/07/09: The Risks in Obama's Ambitions
12/31/08: Support Obama Will Need
06/13/08: Prince Charles, Organic Conservatism Icon
06/11/08: No longer a bankrupt political joke but still overshadowed
04/23/08: McCain's anger management
04/10/08: A Country for Old Men
03/06/08: Does the America Need a Hug?
03/06/08: Obama's First 100 Days
02/29/08: Words Aren't Cheap
02/22/08: He Said, They Said
02/20/08: Dying silently in Zimbabwe
02/15/08: Hillary's Unappealing Path
02/13/08: NATO's Afghan Stumbles
02/08/08: Why McCain Endures
02/06/08: One surge that led to another
02/01/08: In North Korea, Process Over Progress
01/30/08: Compassionate to the end
© 2008, WPWG