Does Willard “Mitt” Romney have compartments in his brain that are hermetically sealed and inaccessible to the other parts? If not, how can one explain the following facts: 1) he signed “Romneycare” into law; 2) “Obamacare” is basically identical to “Romneycare;” 3) Romney claims he hates “Obamacare” and would work to repeal it; and 4) Romney now has heaped praise on Israel’s government-run, universal, “socialized” health care system?
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.
“Do you realize what health care spending is as a percentage of the GDP in Israel? eight percent,” 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. “You spend eight percent of GDP on health care. You’re a pretty healthy nation. We spend 18% of our GDP on health care. Ten percentage points more. That gap, that 10 percent cost, compare that with the size of our military – our military which is four percent – four 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 find and manage our health care costs.”
Of course, this is EXACTLY the point many of us who pushed for Medicare for all, or robust public option, have been attempting to explain for a loooong time — namely, that the U.S. health care system costs a lot more than other industrial democracies’ health care systems, yet delivers far worse results. In other words, we get among the least “bang for the buck” of any advanced nation in the world in terms of health care, in a system that is mostly based on for-profit health insurance companies. The fact that Romney is busy praising Israel’s system of “socialized medicine” is fascinating on many levels, not the least of which is the utter disconnect between everything he’s been saying in this year’s presidential campaign. It’s also a case study on the lengths to which Romney will go to pander to whatever audience he happens to be in, and to say ANYTHING to kiss their butts. Blech.
P.S. I lived in Israel for 6 months and was automatically covered under Israel’s “socialized medicine” system. Which is excellent, by the way, one of the best in the world. How do they do it? Ezra Klein explains that it’s mostly a result of “strong government influence.” Apparently, that’s what Romney’s now endorsing. We’ll keep that in mind.