“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.”What exactly is Romney endorsing about Israel's Health Care System? Certainly that its effective in terms of the costs, but he didn't address what policy that Israel's doing that the U.S. should turn to.
Israel's health care system and the Affordable Care Act "Obamacare" are similar but not identical since Israel goes much farther in terms of government involvement. The Washington Post's Sarah Kliff breaks it down best:
How it has gotten there, however, may not be to the Republican candidate’s liking: Israel regulates its health care system aggressively, requiring all residents to carry insurance and capping revenue for various parts of the country’s health care system.
Israel created a national health care system in 1995, largely funded through payroll and general tax revenue. The government provides all citizens with health insurance: They get to pick from one of four competing, nonprofit plans. Those insurance plans have to accept all customers—including people with pre-existing conditions—and provide residents with a broad set of government-mandated benefits.
Health insurance does not, however, cover every medical service. Dental and vision care, for example, fall outside of the standard government set of benefits. The majority of Israelis—81 percent —purchase a supplemental health insurance plan to “use the private health care system for services that may not be available in through the public system,” according to a paper by Health Affairs. [Washington Post 7/30/12]Just imagine how awkward it would be if he praised Canada's health care system because they spend less than the U.S. as a % of GDP= 11.3%. Because Canada's health care system is such punching bag for the right, no Republican praises anything about the system. This is probably news to the right, Americans in general, and it was to me because Israel's health care system hadn't been talked about when health care reform was being crafted early in President Obama's first term. Its not a politically smart move for a Republican to make the health care reform debate be about spending less of our GDP on health care. That's because the U.S. does the worst compared to other countries that have more government involvement yet spend less. Republicans say they believe in less government involvement. Just call them the "Do Nothings".