ObamaCare Shunts My Patients Into Medicaid: By Jeffrey A. Singer M.D.

Knocked out of private insurance, they are forced to settle for longer waits and worse care.

Thirty years of experience in private medical practice uncovers many ironies. For example, recently several of my patients who had been paying for their own individual health insurance informed me that they were forced off private insurance and placed into Medicaid when they signed up for health care at Healthcare.gov. This unwanted change—built into ObamaCare with the intention of helping patients—has harmed them by taking away their freedom to choose a health-care plan that works best for them.

This is not an unusual phenomenon. A recent Boston University/Harvard Medical School study suggests that up to 80% of people participating in ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion have been shifted off their private insurance. These patients’ plans—that they liked, and were told they could keep—did not meet Affordable Care Act requirements, and were wiped out. Healthcare.gov offered them Medicaid.

But the irony doesn’t stop there. Even if my patients save money by no longer paying premiums, they suffer in the long run by being trapped in a subpar health-care system. A Medicaid card does not translate into quality medical care. In some cases, it does not translate into medical care at all.


The Army veteran is also an alum of a school that needs to have its patriotic bona fides buffed.

I am rooting for Tom Cotton to win the U.S. Senate seat in Arkansas for more than the usual reasons. To be sure, I tend Republican and in the Nov. 4 midterms I would like to see a Republican majority secured in the Senate. Moreover, I like most of Rep. Cotton’s positions on domestic and foreign policy, and trust him to lead wisely. But there is also this: Tom Cotton is a Harvard man, graduate of both the college and Harvard Law School. I am hoping that if elected he will help restore the image of a great university.

Most people think that Harvard’s image is already at its brightest. Crossing Harvard Yard you will encounter troops of tourists staking it out, hoping their children may one day join its privileged student ranks. That privilege is real. Having just retired from Harvard after two decades of teaching there, I can attest with enormous gratitude to how much it offers those of us fortunate enough to enjoy its opportunities.

But my gratitude is laced with heartache. For 40 years—the equivalent of 10 four-year undergraduate cycles—the faculty banished the Reserve Officers Training Corps from its premises. When the military draft was abolished in 1973 in favor of an all-volunteer force, it fell to colleges and universities to inspire a healthy percentage of their students to train for protecting their country and the civilization it embodies. Unlike other forms of civic duty that can be shouldered by their elders, military service depends on youth of college age. Yet here was one of America’s finest schools discouraging its students from assuming this responsibility. How could this happen?

What the Ebola Experts Miss: Bret Stephens

The travel ban addresses the real danger: public panic.

Of course we should ban all nonessential travel from Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and any other country badly hit by the Ebola virus. The lesson of the crisis so far isn’t that this protocol rather than that one should have been used in a Dallas hospital, or that the Centers for Disease Control needs better leadership, or more money, or sharper focus, or all of the above. It’s not even about Ron Klain ’s intriguing qualifications as Ebola czar.

The lesson is that government bureaucracy should be treated, at every level, as inherently and inescapably incompetent. And that expert opinion should be viewed as mistaken until proven otherwise. Meanwhile, wield a blunt instrument.

Government incompetence is the obvious side of this story. “You’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems,” President Obama told Ohio State graduates last year. “You should reject these voices.”

Well, in the last two years alone, we’ve had incompetence eruptions involving the CDC, the Secret Service, the Department of Veterans Affairs, healthcare.gov, the IRS (taking a charitable interpretation) and the State Department. These aren’t voices. They are facts. They are reminders that the age-old debate between liberals and conservatives about what government should do is, in a sense, misplaced. The first question to ask is what government can do.

Can the Transportation Security Administration be reliably trusted to do health checks on inbound passengers from West Africa? The question answers itself. Hence the need for a travel ban.

But now let’s turn to the less obvious lesson, the one about the experts.


On Monday, a decision was taken by the Israeli military to remove IDF guards from half of the communities surrounding Gaza. The army says that this will not affect security in the area, because of nearby bases on the ready to take action when necessary.

Members of these communities are nevertheless extremely concerned. Less than two months ago, Hamas mortars and rockets forced them into bomb shelters for weeks on end.

Furthermore, the tunnels that Hamas has been constructing over the years with the express purpose of kidnapping and killing Israelis not only turned out to be far more extensive than the defense establishment had realized. But many shafts were discovered right under the homes of residents in the south.

The goal that the Israeli government set for Operation Protective Edge this summer was the destruction of these tunnels and other terrorist infrastructure. Whether or not the IDF fully accomplished this by the time that the final cease-fire went into effect at the end of August, the border crossings into Gaza were opened at the end of the war for the transport of concrete and other building materials into the Hamas enclave. (Contrary to popular belief, they were never closed for the entry of humanitarian goods and services.)

Even before the international donors conference in Egypt earlier this month, at which billions of dollars were raised for the “rehabilitation” of Gaza, Hamas got to work. This is not to say that it assumed the task of making the place inhabitable for its impoverished population, however. No, the first thing it did was to play along with the charade that the Palestinian Authority leadership in Ramallah, with which it recently signed a unity agreement, would take charge of governing the strip.

The second thing it did was to begin repairing tunnels that had been severely damaged by Israeli air and ground forces, and to resume digging new ones, to replace those that were completely wiped out. This inevitable development was reported Sunday in the Hamas-affiliated journal, Al-Risala. According to the report, which was accompanied by a photograph of a refurbished tunnel, it won’t be long before the underground war machine is back in business.

The New York Times and Israel (Again) by Elliott Abrams

The New York Times, whose hostility to Israel is visible in both its news and its editorial pages, was at it again yesterday. In an editorial (about the symbolic vote in the UK parliament backing Palestinian statehood) entitled “A British Message to Israel,” the Times‘s editorial board unloaded yet again with a barrage of advice, opinion–and untruths.

Here are some of the key words:

The vote is one more sign of the frustration many people in Europe feel about the failure to achieve an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement despite years of promises.

The most recent American-mediated talks collapsed in April. Meanwhile, Israel continues to build new settlements or expand existing ones, thus shrinking the territory available for a Palestinian state and ignoring an international community that considers such construction illegal. The recent war in Gaza between Israel and Hamas, which killed more than 2,000 Palestinians and 73 Israelis, has increased the sense that violence will keep recurring while peace remains elusive.

There are a couple of points worth making in reaction to this. First, on settlements, note that the Times makes two claims: that “Israel continues to build new settlements” and that expansion of existing ones is “shrinking the territory available for a Palestinian state.” Neither assertion is true. In the last decade the Israelis removed all the settlements in Gaza and four very small ones in the West Bank. The days of building new settlements all over the West Bank are long gone. And “settlement expansion” has meant expansion of population, not territory, so their footprint in the West Bank has not changed. The so-called “peace map” is the same.

Second, note the way the Times refers to the recent Gaza war: It seems that “violence will keep recurring.” How nasty of Violence to do that. The Times does not consider that Hamas deliberately started this conflict, and by burying this sentence in an editorial censuring Israel makes it clear that Israel is really to blame.

This is ludicrous, considering the barrages of rockets and missiles and mortars Hamas shot into Israel, but it is of a piece with the Times‘s general view: Israel is the problem. It is this bias that, last summer, led one of America’s leading Reform rabbis to cancel his subscription. He is Richard Block, president for 2013-2015 of of the association of Reform rabbis (the CCAR). Here is how Block began:

I am a lifelong Democrat, a political liberal, a Reform rabbi, and for four decades, until last week, a New York Times subscriber. What drove me away was the paper’s incessant denigration of Israel, a torrent of articles, photographs, and op-ed columns that consistently present the Jewish State in the worst possible light.


The story of Israel, as most people know it, is well trod—perhaps even tiresome by now. It begins with anti-Semitism in Europe and passes through Theodor Herzl, the Zionist pioneers, the kibbutz, socialism, the Holocaust, and the 1948 War of Independence. In the early decades of the return to Zion and the new state, the image of the Israeli was of a blond pioneer tilling the fields shirtless, or of an audience listening to Haydn in one of the new concert halls. Israel might have been located, for historical reasons, in the Middle East, but the new country was an outpost of Europe. Its story was a story about Europe.

This story was a powerful one, and it has not changed much over the decades, certainly not in its English version. A recent example is Ari Shavit’s best-selling My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel, in which the characters, with few exceptions, are the usual pioneers, Holocaust survivors, lovers of Europe spurned by Europe, devotees of classical music forced to become farmers and fighters, and their children and grandchildren: Ashkenazi Israelis like the author, and like me. Other actors are present onstage, but they are extras or props, not the stars. An earlier example of the form was Amos Elon’s richly told The Israelis: Founders and Sons (1971; reissued 1983), which purported to peer into the soul of the country but had scarcely a word to say about anyone not from Europe. Everyone knew who “the Israelis” really were.

A confluence of interests has endeared this same narrative to Israel’s enemies, who have used it to increasing effect. In Israel, goes one variant of the story, Arabs were made to pay the price of a European problem. A less benign variant posits that Israel is not a solution to anyone’s suffering but instead a colonialist European state imposed by empowered Westerners upon a native Middle Eastern population: that blond pioneer is less a victim rebuilding himself as a free man or an agent of progress than he is a white Rhodesian rancher.

It is 2014, and it should be clear to anyone on even passing terms with the actual country of Israel that all of this is absurd. Israel has existed for nearly seven decades and, like most things on earth, has turned into something that would have surprised the people who thought it up. Half of Israel’s Jews do not hail from Europe and are descendants of people who had little to do with Herzl, socialism, the kibbutz, or the Holocaust. These people require not the addition of a footnote, but a reframing of the story. Hard as this is for those of us whose minds were formed in the West, this means putting aside the European morality play that so many still see when they look at Israel, and instead viewing non-Europeans as main characters.

In what follows I will not try to offer anything resembling a comprehensive history but only trace an alternative way of seeing things and point out what this might yield by way of insight into the life of the country that exists today.

I’ll begin by introducing my friend Rafi Sutton.

BREAKING: Possible Terror Attack in Canada by Reported ISIS Sympathizer, Dead Suspect Is Martin ‘Ahmad’ Rouleau By Patrick Poole

NOTE: Updates below this post

According to multiple reports, Canadian authorities are investigating a hit-and-run and subsequent high-speed car chase this morning in St. Jean sur Richelieu in Quebec province as a possible terror attack. (HT: Stewart Bell)

CBC reports:

A man in his 30s was shot by police in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., earlier this afternoon after he hit two members of the Canadian Forces with his car and led police on a dramatic high-speed chase.

The soldiers were hit in a parking lot of a commercial plaza at around 11:30 a.m. ET. Both were injured, one critically.

The incident was raised in the House of Commons this afternoon by Conservative MP Randy Hoback, who questioned Prime Minister Stephen Harper about “unconfirmed reports of a possible terror attack” targeting members of the Canadian Forces.

Harper, reading from a piece of paper, would only say he was ”aware of these reports” and that they are troubling.

Police have not named the soldiers but confirmed at an afternoon news conference that they were members of the armed forces.

Another report indicates that the suspect was inside the military office beforehand talking about ISIS and may be an ISIS sympathizer.


Images smuggled out of the Syrian war are so horrific that the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum has put them on display. Cameron Hudson, director of the museum’s Center for the Prevention of Genocide, told AP [2] that the images

show dozens of bodies lined up or piled atop one another with their faces obscured. Others show the effects of deprivation and torture, including electrocution, gouged out eyes and removed genitals…. [T]he images of Syrian corpses from detention centers share striking similarities with those of concentration camps during the Holocaust.

Meanwhile there is continued strong advocacy for creating another Arab state just to the southwest of Syria—in “Palestine.” Earlier this month the Obama administration had a temper tantrum at Israel [3] for building homes for Jews in parts of Jerusalem that, the administration thinks, must become part of that state. Almost simultaneously the new Swedish prime minister recognized [4] the not-yet-existent Palestine. And the British Parliament in a nonbinding vote has now also “recognized Palestine.” [5]

Is there a connection between what is happening in Syria and prospective “Palestine”? If the Syrian situation was anomalous in the Arab world, or perhaps even unusual, one could say that drawing a connection between Syria and “Palestine” is specious. Of course, that is hardly the case.

It’s not only that Arab states like Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Libya are now imploding or, like Egypt and Lebanon, racked by severe strife and instability. Arab states have a history of just the sort of mass-scale horrors now occurring in Syria.

In Iraq, Saddam Hussein

murdered as many as a million of his people [7], many with poison gas. He tortured, maimed and imprisoned countless more. His unprovoked invasion of Iran is estimated to have left another million people dead.

David P. Goldman:Does Kerry Think that 18 Million Muslim Refugees Are Irrelevant to ISIS?

There are now nearly 18 million refugees and internally displaced persons in seven Muslim countries (Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen), up from slightly over 7 million in 2011, according to the UN. That doesn’t count more than 2.5 million Afghani refugees from the continuing war in their country. Much of the population of Syria has left their homes, including 3 million who have left the country due to the civil war and an additional 8 million internally displaced.

That is cause for desperation: unprecedented numbers of people have been torn from traditional society and driven from their homes, many with little but the clothes on their backs. There are millions of young men in the Muslim world sitting in refugee camps with nothing to do, nowhere to go back to, and nothing to look forward to. And there are tens of millions more watching their misery with outrage. Never has an extremist movement had so many frustrated and footloose young men in its prospective recruitment pool.

Israel has nothing whatever to do with any of this suffering. It is all the result of social and political disintegration in the Muslim world itself. To blame ISIS’ recruitment of young Muslims on the refugee problem of 1948, as Secretary of State John Kerry did last week, boggles the imagination. It is one thing to ignore the elephant in the parlor, and another to pretend it is not there when it is standing on one’s toe.

To be fair, the secretary of State did not assert as a matter of fact or analysis that the Israeli-Palestinian issue was the cause of rising extremism. What he said was this: ”As I went around and met with people in the course of our discussions about the [anti-Islamic State] coalition … there wasn’t a leader I met with in the region who didn’t raise with me spontaneously the need to try to get peace between Israel and the Palestinians, because it was a cause of recruitment and of street anger and agitation that they felt they had to respond to.”

It is quite possible to imagine that some leaders in the region cited the Israel-Palestine issue. They face social unraveling on a scale not seen in the region since the Mongol invasion. They are submerged by a human tsunami, and might as well blame the Jews. Or the bicycle riders.


I don’t think any readers need a refresher lesson in the many ways President Barack Obama has strived to “transform” America, beginning with his first day in office in 2008. His latest action is the appointment of a Muslim of The University of Memphis’ Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) program. Graduate Fatima Noor has been appointed special assistant in the Office of the Director for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security. Before It’s News on August 31st reported:

She majored in psychology with minors in Spanish and international relations. She recently completed a month-long research fellowship in psychology hosted by Carnegie-Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh; her research will be ongoing for this program. Noor was a leader in many honor societies at the U of M. She has done volunteer work with World Relief Memphis and the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition.

What a perfect choice to help accelerate the colonization of America with Muslims (do you really think she’s going to advocate increasing the immigration of Caucasian Danes, Britons, Frenchmen, Germans and so on into the U.S.?), and, because she “minored” in Spanish, advocate the further relaxation of the immigration rules for illegal aliens from south of the border.

The latest administration tactic has been a refusal to enact a travel ban from countries stricken with Ebola, which, in deliberate defiance of all rational medical advice (and in conscious violation of his oath of office to protect the U.S.), will increase the probability of the beginning of an epidemic of the disease in this country. Reuters reported on October 18th:

Obama made plain he is not currently planning to give in to demands from some lawmakers for a ban on travelers from the worst-hit countries.

“We can’t just cut ourselves off from West Africa,” Obama said in his weekly radio address. “Trying to seal off an entire region of the world – if that were even possible – could actually make the situation worse,” he said.

The worst Ebola outbreak on record has killed more than 4,500 people, most of them in the West African countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

How isolating Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea will make things worse, Obama would be at a loss to explain. Just as his choice for an “Ebola” czar, Ron Klain, would not be able to, either. The Washington Post reported on October 17th: