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Mitt Romney praises Israel´s government-run health care system for keeping costs down (NEW YORK DAILY NEWS) BY BRIAN BROWDIE 08/03/12)Source: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/election-2012/mitt-romney-praises-israel-government-run-health-care-system-keeping-costs-article-1.1127417 NEW YORK DAILY NEWS NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
The presumptive GOP presidential nominee praised Israel for its government-run non-profit health care system, which cuts costs by requiring national health insurance and government-mandated benefits. Sound familiar?

Mitt Romney is giving high marks to a national takeover of health care. The presumptive GOP presidential nominee has praised Israel, which provides nearly every resident with health insurance, for its ability to keep its population healthy and contain medical costs.

Under a law that took effect in 1995, Israelis pay national health insurance premiums tied to their incomes. They also must sign up with one of four non-profit health maintenance organizations, which have to accept everyone and provide a range of government-mandated benefits. Residents supplement the coverage with private insurance for dental and vision care.

Israelis live, on average, about three years longer than Americans, despite Israel spending less than half as much on health care as a percentage of gross domestic product. The system earns a high level of public satisfaction.

"You spend 8 percent of GDP on health care," Romney told supporters Monday at a fundraiser in Jerusalem. "And you’re a pretty healthy nation. We spend 18 percent of our GDP on health care."

"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 added.

The former Massachusetts governor, who signed a commonwealth-wide health insurance mandate in 2006, has vowed to let states opt out of the Affordable Care Act - the national health insurance law signed by President Barack Obama in 2010, also called Obamacare - on his first day in office, and to work with Congress to repeal the legislation as soon as possible.

Romney´s praise for for Israel´s system left some some experts to note the apparent contradiction.

"Israel has made health care a government responsibility like education and defense," Karen Wolk Feinstein, president and chief executive officer of the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, a nonprofit group that studies health care services, told the Daily News. "The core services are provided by tax dollars."

"I don´t think people doing research for the governor fully explained to him that it´s not in the Republican platform," Feinstein added. For its part, Team Romney says the candidate was simply noting Israel´s lower health care costs and slamming the U.S. system.

"The governor was criticizing our broken health care system and the failure of Obamacare to address the health care challenges facing our country,” campaign spokesman Ryan Williams told the Boston Globe. (© Copyright 2011 NYDailyNews.com. 08/03/12)

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