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Apr 7, 2010

Barak Obama affects aliyah

In the last US elections, I voted for Barak Obama.
I did so for a number of reasons:
  1. I didn't think John McCain was the right person to follow Bush as president.
  2. My vote didnt count anyway, as I vote absentee in Illinois which is overwhelming Democrat
  3. I have always voted Democrat
  4. I figured if Obama would turn out to be as bad for Israel (and this should not necessarily be the most important factor taken into consideration when voting in US elections), as it looked he might be, or as people suspected he might be, at least he would, perhaps, drive more of US Jewry to make aliya.
It turns out, according to Nefesh B'Nefesh, I was right. Because of Obama's health care reform, many Jewish doctors from the US are now seriously considering and planning their aliya. (source: Kikar)

Not that they will make more money from the socialized medical system we use in Israel, but since they have already made their money, and they will be making much in the future because of the new system, they might as well make aliya and be part of the Jewish Country.


  1. I'm sure they are seriously considering aliyah. I will be interested to see in a few years if more than a literal handful have followed through.

  2. and they will not be making much in the future

  3. In any case, the Kikar article refers to "Chareidi" doctors.

  4. Palin killed McCains's chances.

  5. The funny thing is that many doctors may well break even on the bill. Why?

    Because the bill also contains provisions easing student loan payments, which hit doctors probably harder than anybody, since they have 8 years of education which they have to pay for out of pocket.

    (While people like myself [incoming PhD candidate in Computer Science at Georgia Tech, focusing on cryptography; would've applied to first do a masters in Israel but the application deadlines are too late] may spend 9 or even 10 years in education, the PhD doesn't require loans; we get paid (little, but we do get paid) for the PhD)

  6. Could somebody explain to me why the health bill is so bad and why the current system is so good, when apparently many people have no medical insurance at all.
    it is difficult for me to understand this because I am used to a public health system already from my life in Europe. I do not recall that these countries went bankrupt because of it.

  7. but from what I hear the public medical systems in Europe are not generally that good.
    Also, in the US many of the people who aren't insured are already eligible for government programs and just aren't aware or aren't bothering to apply.

    Some people have preexisting conditions and if they don't work for a company that provides insurance it may be difficult to get insured or difficult to afford it. The health bill is supposed to help with that by forcing insurance companies to accept them, however that would raise premiums for everyone.

    I can compare the Israeli and the US system, and I can tell you that even though there are many fabulous doctors here, the system is horrible for the patient and not too profitable for the doctor. Many of the really good doctors work privately, so they are only available to people who can afford it.
    In the US if you are on the government plan (the way it was) because of low income, you can go to almost any doctor. So the poor and the wealthy are generally receiving the same care, it is the people in the middle who suffer. For that the low income definition has to be raised.

    Rafi, do you really think it is right to try to encourage US Jews to make aliyah by causing them to suffer under the Obama administration?

  8. I will be interested to see in a few years if more than a literal handful have followed through.

    I'd like to see a "literal" handful of people. In fact, I'm curious to see if you literally put even one person in someone else's hand.

    (Translation, for those of you who are sarcasm impared: The term "a handful", when referring to a small number of something and not to an amount which is placed in a hand, such as a handful of soil, is an expression. Therefore, saying a "literal handful" of people makes no sense.)

  9. I had the same thought as you. Vote for Obama to encourage Aliyah. But I asked my own personal Gadol - the same one I consult on which brand of toothpaste to buy - for his opinion. He said I should vote for whom I think is the best candidate, not purposely vote for whom I think is the worse candidate.

    Note that in this answer he was not telling me who to vote for. he left that for me to decide myself. Gasp!!!

  10. well, I wasnt picking the worst candidate for that purpose - to make their lives miserable.

    I actually thought Obama would be better than McCain and Palin. And for US interests, I still think it. Clearly on Israel issues alone, in hindsight McCain would probably have been more to my liking...(at the time I thought Obama would mostly ignore the Middle East considering how stuck it was and how bad of a situation the US economy was and is in. I figured he would completely concentrate on that, and the Israel issues would not matter much)

    As a way of calming my nerves about his appearance to be not so favorable to Israel, I told myself that at least it will likely encourage more Jews to move to Israel.

  11. I've been here for 10 years and I've only gotten good to excellent healthcare. I know there are horror stories here but there are just as many horror stories in the US, land of amazing healthcare (and much worse stories- no on here goes bankrupt from medical bills and no one dies of a tooth infection because they can't afford to see a dentist, both of which have happened in the US). Our system isn't the easiest thing to deal with, but I'd take it any day of the week of the US.

    The characterization that "rich and poor see the same doctors" is a crock. The poor go to the ER and the rich go to concierge medical practices. The middle class need to wait three weeks to see their GP for an earache.

  12. yoni r, thanks for correcting my "literal handful" gaffe. I intended to say that I wondered if more doctors than could literally be counted on one hand would make aliyah because of this bill passing - so will more than 5 doctors do so?


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