Monday, July 30, 2012

Mitt, Mitt, Mitt...

Romney went to Israel and offered effusive praise for that country's health care system...
“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.
What he neglects to mention is that Israel's health care system resembles Obamacare, individual mandate and all, except it's a good deal more...uh...socialistic. Lots of state-run hospitals. Doctors get paid by the state. Universal coverage. Better care overall.

The beauty part of Mitt's statement is that it's designed to piss off everyone. The Tea Party base fears that Romney will back Obamacare once he gets into office. Liberals will use this statement to illustrate Romney's hypocrisy and flip-floppery.

Me? I think it proves that the guy is a chess player who can't think more than one move ahead. If he had thought about what he was saying, he would have said something different.
I think the Republicans wanted McCain to lose and they want Romney to lose. Obama's couldn't do anything to hurt the 1% even if he wanted to, and he's perfect to take the blame for everything.
Right-Wingers would contend that because Israel is < 7 million people the State can efficently run a Socialized system. Additionally, since all are in the military and the State of Israel is under constant attack by islamo-nazis it is smart and necessary. Finally, because illegals (i.e the Palestinians) are excluded they are way ahead of us.
The Israeli health care system does not have anything like the kind of malpractice litigation that so plagues health care in America. Not only does the U.S. malpractice bar raise the cost of insurance for doctors, but it also causes doctors to control legal risk by prescribing all kinds of unnecessary treatments and procedures, adding greatly to health care costs.
Tort reform ought to be an essential part of any serious effort at health care reform in the U.S.--which Obamacare is not--but the Democratic Party will never agree to it. As former Democratic National Committee chair Howard Dean admitted during an unusual moment of candor during the Obamacare debate, Democrats will never support tort reform for fear of losing their money pipeline from trial lawyers. President Obama’s perfunctory promise to study tort reform was nothing more than his usual empty talk.

Also, Obamacare does not control costs. Insurance costs have skyrocketed since the act passed in March 2010, and health care costs are continuing to rise. Simply put, Obamacare does not create any real incentives for controlling costs; rather, it makes existing bad incentives worse.
There is another factor in the success of the Israeli health care system, too--one we are no longer allowed to mention, apparently, because it is now "racist" to do so: Israeli culture and demographics lend themselves to a healthier population. Israelis do not typically kill each other; they are rarely sedentary; they prefer poultry to red meat; and they have a disproportionate concentration of high-tech skill and research know-how. That is a recipe for health care success that we ought to emulate, Obamacare or not.
The left seems to believe that Romney’s comments ought to have enraged conservative voters--except that conservatives have already “priced in” Romney’s affinity for state-run health insurance schemes. Whatever the merit (or otherwise) of Israel’s health care system, Romney’s promised to repeal Obamacare, and that’s all that matters to voters.
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