Romney Praises Israeli Healthcare System, Which Includes Individual Mandate
Mitt Romney has made several high profile gaffes during his recent overseas trip; but while in Israel, he made statements that seem to contradict some of his central campaign claims. The Republican presidential candidate got more attention for statements showing a lack of understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but he was also praised Israel’s health care system- which includes many of the same features as the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, which Romney has spent months attacking.
According to The New York Times, Romney praised the lower health care costs in Israel:
“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.”
ThinkProgress explains that Israel’s healthcare system operates under a national individual mandate (similar to the one that Romney has denounced), and gets better results than the US:
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.
Romney has repeatedly vowed to repeal Obamacare.
What do you think? Did Mitt Romney make another gaffe?