Romney Praises Israel's National Healthcare System

Tuesday, 31 Jul 2012 11:29 AM

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While in Israel Mitt Romney had high praise for the country’s healthcare system, lauding it for its ability to hold down costs while providing quality care. However, Israel requires all residents to carry insurance and puts caps on parts of the healthcare system, The Washington Post reported.

“When our healthcare costs are completely out of control. Do you realize what healthcare spending is as a percentage of the GDP in Israel? 8 percent. You spend 8 percent of GDP on healthcare. And you’re a pretty healthy nation,” Romney said at a fundraiser in Israel according to the Post. “We spend 18 percent of our GDP on healthcare. 10 percentage points more. That gap, that 10 percent cost, let me compare that with the size of our military. Our military budget is 4 percent. 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.”

Israel created a national healthcare system in 1995, the Post noted. The system is funded through payroll and tax revenue and the government provides all citizens with health insurance. People get to choose between four nonprofit plans, which have to accept all including those with pre-existing conditions. The plans also must provide a list of government-mandated benefits, the Post reported.

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