Romney heaps more praise on Israel

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He just loves their socialistic health care system. :icon_cool

Romney praises health care in Israel, where research says ‘strong government influence’ has driven down costs

Posted by Sarah Kliff on July 30, 2012 at 11:10 am

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney had some very kind things to say about the Israeli health care system at a fundraiser there Monday. He praised Israel for spending just 8 percent of its GDP on health care and still remaining a “pretty healthy nation:”

When our health care costs are completely out of control. Do you realize what health care spending is as a percentage of the GDP in Israel? 8 percent. You spend 8 percent of GDP on health care. And you’re a pretty healthy nation. We spend 18 percent of our GDP on health care. 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 health care to more people, but to find ways to finally manage our health care costs.

Romney’s point about Israel’s success in controlling health care costs is spot on: Its health care system has seen health care costs grow much slower than other industrialized nations.

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.

Now, let’s get to the costs. As you can see in the chart below, Israel’s health care costs have hovered around 8 percent of its gross domestic product for over two decades, while other countries’ have seen theirs rise:



Israel’s lower health care spending does not look to sacrifice the quality of care. It has made more improvements than the United States on numerous quality metrics, and the country continues to have a higher life expectancy:

Source: New England Journal of Medicine

How’d they do it? Jack Zwanziger and Shuli Brammli-Greenberg took a crack at that question in a 2011 Health Affairs paper. The answer, they say, has a lot to do with “strong government influence:

The national government exerts direct operational control over a large proportion of total health care expenditures, through a range of mechanisms, including caps on hospital revenue and national contracts with salaried physicians. The Ministry of Finance has been able to persuade the national government to agree to relatively small increases in the health care budget because the system has performed well, with a very high level of public satisfaction.

The Israeli Ministry of Finance controls about 40 percent of Israel’s health care expenditures through those payments to the four insurance plans. The ministry decides how much it will pay the health plans for each Israeli citizen they enroll, making adjustments for how old a person is and how high their health care costs are expected to be.

It’s then up to the health insurance plan to figure out how to provide coverage within that set budget. If they spend too much—have a patient who is constantly in the hospital, for example—they will find themselves in the red. It’s that set budget—a capitated budget, in health policy terms—that seems to be crucial to the Israeli health care system’s success in cost control.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs...g-government-influence-has-driven-down-costs/
 

Neon

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Two small problems:

1) Israel is small. Much, much smaller than the US, and
2) The Israeli middle class is taking a fucking pounding right now, and all kinds of taxes are going up. It's a mess.

Not to mention that if you want the best care and you can afford it, you go private simply because it is quicker and you have more choices.
 

Party Rooster

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Two small problems:

1) Israel is small. Much, much smaller than the US, and
2) The Israeli middle class is taking a fucking pounding right now, and all kinds of taxes are going up. It's a mess.
Not only that, but I'd imagine they lead healthier lifestyles over there. I think they smoke a lot though right?

Not to mention that if you want the best care and you can afford it, you go private simply because it is quicker and you have more choices.
I think that's what a lot of people want here. Provide basic care for the masses and if you can afford more you can get better coverage for yourself and your family if you want.
 

Owenay

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I think that's what a lot of people want here. Provide basic care for the masses and if you can afford more you can get better coverage for yourself and your family if you want.
Interesting idea. I'm surprised no one's thought of it before. We should call it Medicaid or something.
 

Neon

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Not only that, but I'd imagine they lead healthier lifestyles over there. I think they smoke a lot though right?
Not as much as they used to. And you're not allowed to smoke anywhere and the prices just went way up because the government needed some money so they just raised taxes on cigarettes and beer... Blech.

I think that's what a lot of people want here. Provide basic care for the masses and if you can afford more you can get better coverage for yourself and your family if you want.
There's a lot of things that work differently including tort laws, which makes the system harder to abuse. Also, you can't have commercials for prescription drugs on TV and stuff like that. Meaning that the culture of healthcare is slightly different.

I guess I'm trying to say that it's an issue that is more complex than a simple percentage of GDP graph can indicate. Just as an example - there are more illegal immigrants in the US than there are people in Israel. That kind of difference in scale has to affect any kind of comparison between the two.
 

KRSOne

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Thanks a lot republicants, 4 more years of a socialist no matter who wins.
 

whiskeyguy

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Two small problems:

1) Israel is small. Much, much smaller than the US, and
2) The Israeli middle class is taking a fucking pounding right now, and all kinds of taxes are going up. It's a mess.

Not to mention that if you want the best care and you can afford it, you go private simply because it is quicker and you have more choices.
Yup. We cannot compare ourselves to a country that has 2% the population we do. Also, aren't most citizens in Israel required to enlist in the military (correct me if I'm wrong Neon)... that helps lead to a healthier population through demanding physical activity.
 

Cunt Smasher

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Not as much as they used to. And you're not allowed to smoke anywhere and the prices just went way up because the government needed some money so they just raised taxes on cigarettes and beer... Blech.



There's a lot of things that work differently including tort laws, which makes the system harder to abuse. Also, you can't have commercials for prescription drugs on TV and stuff like that. Meaning that the culture of healthcare is slightly different.

I guess I'm trying to say that it's an issue that is more complex than a simple percentage of GDP graph can indicate. Just as an example - there are more illegal immigrants in the US than there are people in Israel. That kind of difference in scale has to affect any kind of comparison between the two.
I was wondering about their tort laws. Ours suck, making doctors do all kinds of extra shit you don't need just in case of lawsuits.
 

Neon

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Yup. We cannot compare ourselves to a country that has 2% the population we do. Also, aren't most citizens in Israel required to enlist in the military (correct me if I'm wrong Neon)... that helps lead to a healthier population through demanding physical activity.
Yes, military service is mandatory, but not everyone does it, and not everyone is in a particularly physically demanding role. I don't think that's a factor so much as the fact that the grandparents of most Israelis nowadays were either farmers of some sort, or industrial laborers. Israel was essentially built from scratch, and it only happened 64 years ago, and the transition to hi-tech and a more "modern" economy is a really new phenomenon (only a couple of decades, really), so that mentality still exists in the education of children. Child obesity is definitely a bigger problem than it used to be, but it isn't really on America levels of that stuff.
 

Neon

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I was wondering about their tort laws. Ours suck, making doctors do all kinds of extra shit you don't need just in case of lawsuits.
There really are no punitive damages. If a doctor makes a $1,000 mistake, you will get $1,000 + legal costs if you sue him for malpractice and win (there is a pain and suffering clause, but it's usually something entirely reasonable. Like if you sue a travel agent in small claims court for fucking up your vacation, the judge could say "and here's another couple of grand for your trouble." It's never like "here's elevinty billion dollars for crying!" - no such thing as a jury in Israel. You get tried by a judge or a panel of judges). I see 7 figure cases sometimes, but it is always something like "I'm now a quadriplegic for life" type stuff. Sometimes that sucks because you want to see someone lose everything, but I think that for the most part it saves a lot of fucking money.
 

MayrMeninoCrash

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World Leader Wondering Why He Just Met With The Former Governor Of Massachusetts

WARSAW, POLAND—World leader and president of Poland Bronisław Komorowski was reportedly puzzled Tuesday as to why he had just met with a man who was apparently the governor of Massachusetts six years ago. "That person currently holds no position of power, so I'm not sure why I would have any sort of high-level talk with him," Komorowski was overheard saying to his advisers, adding that as a head of state with a busy schedule he shouldn’t be taking meetings with just anyone. "Essentially, I just had an hourlong conversation with an unemployed American man." According to sources, when reminded that the individual he had met also ran the Winter Olympics in 2002, Komorowski responded, "Who gives a shit?"
:trollol:
 

Von Maestro

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Health care in Israel is good?

Two words: Jewish Doctors :action-sm
 

Norm Stansfield

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When our health care costs are completely out of control. Do you realize what health care spending is as a percentage of the GDP in Israel? 8 percent. You spend 8 percent of GDP on health care. And you’re a pretty healthy nation. We spend 18 percent of our GDP on health care. 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 health care to more people, but to find ways to finally manage our health care costs.
Great, another scumbag who wants to ration health care.
 

Norm Stansfield

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I think that's what a lot of people want here. Provide basic care for the masses and if you can afford more you can get better coverage for yourself and your family if you want.
Those schemes are usually financed by forcing everyone who is employed to pay for insurance (in most cases, by deducting it directly from their wage, through their employer. The end result is that a lot of hard working people who would otherwise be getting private healthcare (most likely employer provided, just like in the US) are stuck financing the shitty socialized scheme, and can't afford to also buy private insurance.

That's why only the elites have private coverage in these countries. No one else can afford to pay for health care twice. The larger the scheme, the fewer the people who can afford private coverage, and the fewer the employers who can provide it.
 

Party Rooster

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Those schemes are usually financed by forcing everyone who is employed to pay for insurance (in most cases, by deducting it directly from their wage, through their employer. The end result is that a lot of hard working people who would otherwise be getting private healthcare (most likely employer provided, just like in the US) are stuck financing the shitty socialized scheme, and can't afford to also buy private insurance.

That's why only the elites have private coverage in these countries. No one else can afford to pay for health care twice. The larger the scheme, the fewer the people who can afford private coverage, and the fewer the employers who can provide it.
81% of Israelis are elites? "whaa"

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,”
 

MayrMeninoCrash

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I bet Mitt wishes he had just brought an ipod for the Queen after that fiasco.

Obama Aide: Romney 'Struck Out Playing T-Ball' on Foreign Trip

The truce, such as it was, is over. Top Obama campaign aides blasted Mitt Romney's overseas trip on Tuesday, calling his foray on the world stage an "embarrassing disaster" and mocking the verbal stumbles that clouded his visit to staunch ally Britain.

"It's not that Romney struck out against a major league pitcher," Colin Kahl, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East, told reporters on a conference call as Romney flew home. "I mean, here, he struck out playing t-ball. This should have been easy and it wasn't for him apparently."

Kahl underlined Romney's comments suggesting that Britain might not be ready to host the Olympics, which drew rebukes from British Prime Minister David Cameron and London Mayor Boris Johnson.

"He managed to insult the leaders, citizens and press of the United Kingdom, probably our closest ally in the entire world on the eve of the Olympics, an event that they've been planning for years," Kahl said. "If Romney can't handle our special relationship with the British on the eve of the Olympic Games, what's going to happen when he has to deal with our enemies, or has to deal with really tough situations?"

Romney's trip, which also took him to Israel and finally to Poland, was marred by a handful of verbal missteps. In addition to his comments about the Olympics—he later praised the "spectacular" opening ceremony—Romney angered Palestinians by suggesting their "culture" might be to blame for the disparity in income between them and their Israeli neighbors. One top Palestinian dubbed the claim "racist." And Romney's criticisms of Obama for scrapping a missile defense system in Eastern Europe drew a rebuke from the Slovak foreign minister.

"Romney was auditioning to be leader of the free world, and it's clear he was simply unable to represent America on the world stage," Obama advisor Robert Gibbs said on the same conference call. "It is clear that the opportunity to credential his beliefs with the American voters was nothing short for Mitt Romney of an embarrassing disaster on this trip."

But despite the cringe-inducing media coverage of his various stumbles, Romney also got much of what he wanted from the week-long tour. Notably, in Israel, the former Massachusetts governor highlighted his warm personal relationship with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has famously testy ties with Obama. Romney also delivered a stern, presidential-style warning to Iran over its nuclear program, made a somber pilgrimage to the Western Wall and tweaked Obama by referring to Jerusalem as Israel's capital. (Official U.S. policy, going back decades, is that the status of Jerusalem must be part of a final peace deal with the Palestinians, who want Israel-annexed East Jerusalem to be the capital of their future state. But Obama attempted a similar gambit in the 2008 race.) In Poland, Romney effectively got the endorsement of anti-Soviet icon Lech Walesa during a visit that could appeal to Polish-Americans clustered in a few important battleground states.

"Mitt Romney will be a president who unapologetically stands up for America and the enduring values of freedom," Romney campaign spokesman Ryan Williams said in a statement. "Governor Romney has laid out a foreign policy that will strengthen our interests, ensure our security, and let our friends know they have a partner in the White House."

But Romney has struggled to lay out precisely how his foreign policy would differ from Obama's on issues like Iran. Romney has called for crippling sanctions coupled with the threat of force—essentially the Obama approach.

"A lot of this is Romney describing our current policy and masquerading it as criticism of the president," Kahl said.

But Kahl treaded carefully when it came to the "culture" spat with the Palestinians. "This is a very delicate issue, and I think ultimately our view is that it's up to Governor Romney to explain why those comments would be helpful at advancing the peace process in the Middle East," he said.

At the White House, spokesman Jay Carney offered a considerably more veiled criticism of Romney's trip.

"When American Presidents, American senators and congressmen and would-be leaders go abroad, what they say is placed under a magnifying glass and it carries great impact," he said at his daily briefing. "And Presidents, senators, congressmen, former governors need to be very mindful of the impact because of the diplomatic implications of what you say overseas."

"Getting it right matters greatly to America's standing in the world and to the successful execution of American foreign policy," Carney said.

Asked whether he was saying that Romney's trip had somehow undermined American foreign policy, Carney said no—and got in a dig at the tour's troubles.

"There's nothing that I can say that's detrimental—at least not to the president," he quipped.
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/OTUS...l-foreign-trip/story?id=16899897#.UBoE1rRYsfU

Love the caption under the video in the link - "Romney blames press for tour controversy" I guess Bush wasn't available :icon_cool