Mitt Romney had kind words for Israel’s health care system Monday, even though, as ThinkProgress reports, it resembles the recently passed Affordable Health Care Act, which his party has been trying to repeal.
The presumptive Republican presidential candidate said he admired Israel for spending less of its gross domestic product on health than the U.S.
“You spend eight percent of G.D.P. on health care,” he said. “You’re a pretty healthy nation. We spend 18 percent of our G.D.P. on health care, 10 percentage points more.”
The country’s health-care system includes an individual mandate clause, requiring citizens to buy one of four HMOs offered by the government since 1995, with the state covering 60 percent of a person’s medical costs. The remaining 40 percent is covered by income-related tax collections.
Last month, The Jewish Daily Forward reported that Israel boasts an average life expectancy of 82 years, four years more than the U.S., with half the mortality rate due to heart disease.
“I think that America can learn a lot from the Israeli system,” said one Orly Manor, dean of the Hadassah-Hebrew University Braun School of Public Health. “The quality is high, and the outcomes are good.”
An individual mandate is at the heart of the ACA, which was recently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. It was also a component of the health care system Romney implemented during his tenure as governor of Massachusetts.
[Image via Agence France-Presse]