Mitt Romney still loves mandates and even universal health care. Here’s what he said on his Israel trip:
“Do you realize what health care spending is as a percentage of the G.D.P. in Israel? Eight percent,” he said. “You spend eight percent of G.D.P. on health care. You’re a pretty healthy nation. We spend 18 percent of our G.D.P. on health care, 10 percentage points more. That gap, that 10 percent cost, compare that with the size of our military — our military which is 4 percent, 4 percent. Our gap with Israel is 10 points of G.D.P. We have to find ways — not just to provide health care to more people, but to find ways to fund and manage our health care costs.”
But as Think Progress notes, Israel’s healthcare is nothing like that here in the U.S.:
Israel spends less on health care because of a universal health system that requires everyone to have insurance. Every Israeli citizen has the obligation to purchase health care services through one of the country’s four HMOs since government officials approved the National Health Insurance Law in 1995. People pay for 40 percent of their HMO’s costs through income-related contributions collected through the tax system, and the state pays the remaining 60 percent. And by many standards, Israelis are getting better health care than U.S. citizens. The infant mortality rate is much lower, and its mortality rate due to heart disease is half the U.S. rate.
Of course we live in a country where we hear that people should be allowed to eat anything, no matter how bad for them. Insurance, pharmaceutical and health provider companies should also be allowed to charge whatever they want, regardless of public health. This is the system the GOP pushes for and that crippled healthcare reform. It’s also a system that makes it absolutely impossible to lower healthcare costs and make our nation healthier.