In this issue

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 18, 2011 / 16 Tamuz, 5771

Obama's not-quite-true story

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Most would agree that one would have to stoop pretty low to question the story of the death of a man’s mother.

But what if that deathbed story were the locus of a far-reaching policy that encompassed a huge slice of a nation’s economy?

And what if the individual who told the story were the president of the world’s most powerful nation?

On the same day that President Obama peevishly walked out of debt ceiling negotiations with congressional leaders, the New York Times reported that the White House had declined to challenge an account in a new book about Obama’s most compelling argument for health care reform — the tale of the final days of his mother, Ann Dunham, fighting with insurance companies about coverage for her cancer treatment.

No one who followed the 2008 presidential race could have missed the story, which Obama told more than once, of Dunham’s death from uterine and ovarian cancer at age 52. As told by Obama, his mother was fighting until her last breath with an uncaring insurance company about payments for her treatment. The company wouldn’t pay, Obama reported, because his mother’s cancer was considered a preexisting condition. Eliminating preexisting conditions as an obstacle to insurance coverage was a central tenet of health-care reform and the Affordable Care Act that has resulted.

“I will never forget my own mother, as she fought cancer in her final months, having to worry about whether her insurance would refuse to pay for her treatment,” Obama told a sympathetic nation.

The story touched hearts and swayed judgments. How awful. How could a compassionate country tolerate such cruelty? Life is a preexisting condition, after all. And besides, one wouldn’t dare challenge a man’s memory of his mamma. We all have a mom, and it’s staggering to consider having to watch her suffer through the indignity of death and the indifference of faceless corporations. Meanwhile, of all the things that are off-limits to scrutiny or skepticism, Cancer and Mother top the list. Combine the two in a personal story and you are untouchable.

Thus, the story of Obama, Ann Dunham and corporate America’s inhumanity toward preexisting conditions became an inviolate holy trinity of immense political power.

If only it had been true.

It is too much to say that Obama told an intentionally tall tale to mislead the public. But it is also incorrect to say that he told a true story. According to Janny Scott, a New York Times writer and author of the book “A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mother,” (Buy it HERE at a 43% discount) Dunham’s cancer treatments were covered by her employer’s insurance policy. She was denied disability insurance, which would have helped Dunham pay her deductible or unreimbursed medical costs. These apparently ran into the hundreds per month.

A distinction without a difference? This is a question for Americans to decide. Yes, it’s true that Dunham’s disability claim was denied and that she hired her son, whom she identified as her lawyer, to pursue legal recourse. But it is false that she was denied coverage of her treatment, as Obama clearly said.

On Wednesday, the White House did not dispute Scott’s rendering of events, which she gleaned from correspondence between Dunham and Cigna, the company that held Dunham’s disability insurance policy. Presidential spokesman Nicholas Papas said, “The president has told this story based on his recollection of events that took place more than 15 years ago.”

We can all understand memories dimmed by the passage of time, though some memories demand greater accountability. Obama might have checked his facts more carefully. Not only did he represent his mother’s interests at the time and, presumably, have legal notes and correspondence in his own files, but he knew he would use the anecdote to make his argument for health-care reform. Surely he might have expected that someone eventually would fact-check his account.

Papas maintains that the president’s story, if not exactly as Americans may have understood it, still stands as commentary on “the impact of pre-existing condition limits on insurance protection from health-care costs.” This would be a reasonable argument except that disability insurance, which is usually intended to cover wages lost to illness and not treatment, was never part of the debate in the health-care reform act.

It’s likely that the president will be forgiven this exaggeration in the service of a greater truth. But it was never, in fact, quite true.

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