Romney praises socialized medicine in Israel that includes govt mandate

It’s socialized medicine that covers everyone in the country. And Romney just praised its amazing ability to keep health care costs down.

“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.”

Well, Mr. Romney, here’s how Israel does it – with nationwide government mandated health care.

From The Jewish Daily Forward:

Health care provision in Israel is made through not-for-profit health maintenance organizations. Six months after the Jewish state was established, in 1948, just 53% of the population had HMO insurance. Israel steadily increased its financial contribution to HMOs, making membership more affordable, and in 1973 it obliged employers to pay contributions toward employees’ policies.

But HMOs were still free to turn away people who they regarded as too high-risk, so in 1995, when 4% of the population was uninsured, the government made coverage universal by passing the National Health Insurance Law. It meant that everybody had the right — and obligation — to be covered by one of the country’s four not-for-profit HMOs. Residents of the country pay from income-related contributions collected through the tax system, which cover around 40% of HMOs’ costs. The state pays the remaining 60%.

People are allowed to choose which HMO to join and are allowed to change once a year, but the differences are mostly superficial: By law they are obliged to provide a standardized “basket” of services and medicines, from emergency to preventative. Except for some consultations and tests for which the patient makes a contribution to the cost — usually less than $10 — HMOs transfer funds to clinics, health centers and hospitals to cover all services. There are only a handful of completely private hospitals.

To some degree he can’t help himself. His entire campaign is based on a lie – that he’s a Republican, let alone a conservative – so now he keeps speaking the truth, like about health care in Israel, and then finds himself up against his earlier lies.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in New York City, and is the cofounder of TimeToResign.com. Bio, .

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