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Romney hails public healthcare system -- Israel’s

Mitt Romney established universal health coverage in Massachusetts with an individual mandate to buy insurance. But he says he’ll overturn an identical system at the federal level.

He also has dismissed the idea of a Medicare-for-all insurance system in the United States. Yet the presumptive Republican nominee-to-be is hailing Israel’s healthcare system as a model of efficiency and effectiveness.

And what do you know — Israel has something like a Medicare-for-all system.

Romney praised Israel for spending just 8% of its gross domestic product on healthcare while still remaining a “pretty healthy nation.”

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“We spend 18% of our GDP on healthcare,” he said of the U.S. “Ten percentage points more. That gap, that 10% cost, let me compare that with the size of our military. Our military budget is 4%. Our gap with Israel is 10 points of GDP. We have to find ways, not just to provide healthcare to more people, but to find ways to finally manage our healthcare costs.”

So how does Israel do it?

The country created a national healthcare system in 1995, mostly funded through payroll and general tax revenue. The government provides all citizens with health insurance. Everyone is required to have it.

People in Israel pick from one of four competing, nonprofit plans, which can’t turn anyone away because of preexisting conditions. Israel also heavily regulates its healthcare system to control costs.

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Thanks, Mr. Romney, for acknowledging that government has a major role to play in healthcare. And thanks, too, for pointing out a system that actually seems to work.

Now how about sharing your wisdom with the American people?


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