That story is Romney Praises Israel’s Socialized Health Care System.
Presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney offered praise for the Israeli health care system today — a medical plan that has been socialized since its founding in 1948.
Romney, who championed the Massachusetts health care mandate, but is an opponent of the federal mandate passed by President Barack Obama, marveled at how little Israel spends on health care relative to the United States.
“When our health care costs are completely out of control. Do you realize what health care spending is as a percentage of the GDP in Israel? 8 percent. You spend 8 percent of GDP on health care. And you’re a pretty healthy nation,” Romney told donors at a fundraiser at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, speaking of a health care system that is compulsory for Israelis and funded by the government. “We spend 18 percent of our GDP on health care. 10 percentage points more. That gap, that 10 percent cost, let me compare that with the size of our military. Our military budget is 4 percent. Our gap with Israel is 10 points of GDP. We have to find ways, not just to provide health care to more people, but to find ways to finally manage our health care costs.”
Romney has explained that he opposes ObamaCare because what worked in Massachusetts may not work for other states. Highlighting the success of the Israeli system — in a country that enjoys one of the highest life expectancy rates in the world — could complicate matters for Romney at home.
It’s possible Mittens didn’t understand that Israel has socialized medicine, or he might have kept his mouth shut. This reminds me of the time Rush Limbaugh said that if Obamacare passed he’d move to Costa Rica, obviously not realizing that Costa Rica has a socialized health care system.
The heated debate over health care reform, reignited by the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold President Barack Obama’s plan, has drawn attention, once again, to the issue of government involvement in health care management and the effectiveness of a system based on universal coverage.
For Israel, this is a Rubicon crossed long ago. Despite the country’s mania for most things American, when it comes to health care, Israel chose a system based more on the European model. The government’s role is central as both funder and regulator. Yet, going by many indexes of health outcomes, the result in terms of quality of care is often better — and definitely cheaper than in the U.S. Under the Israeli system, the percentage of the country’s gross domestic product going to health care is less than half that of the United States. And coverage is universal.