by Bob Geary
Price controls? I thought the Republican term for that was death panels?
Still, at the risk of seeming to ask for intellectual coherence from politicians who'll say anything to get elected and have no principles whatsoever, I submit this story from the Los Angeles Times about Mitt Romney's admiration for the way Israel handles health care:
Romney praised Israel for spending just 8% of its gross domestic product on healthcare while still remaining a "pretty healthy nation."
"We spend 18% of our GDP on healthcare," he said of the U.S. "Ten percentage points more. That gap, that 10% cost, let me compare that with the size of our military. Our military budget is 4%. 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."
So how does Israel do it?
The country created a national healthcare system in 1995, mostly funded through payroll and general tax revenue. The government provides all citizens with health insurance. Everyone is required to have it.
People in Israel pick from one of four competing, nonprofit plans, which can't turn anyone away because of preexisting conditions. Israel also heavily regulates its healthcare system to control costs.