EDITOR: During his recent trip to Israel, Mitt Romney declared to an Israeli audience: “Do you realize what health care spending is in Israel? 8 percent. And you’re a pretty healthy nation. We spend 18 percent of our GDP on health care. We have to find a way to manage our health care costs.” Great idea.
Mitt might have added that, in spite of our profligate spending ways, we are a far less healthy nation than Israel. What he really should have also said is that Israel is a healthy nation because, in 1948, the country adopted universal health care with an individual mandate. Israel’s then-Prime Minister David Ben Gurion also headed the Labor/Socialist Party. Ben Gurion, one of history’s great men, was mindful of what the father of universal health care, Otto von Bismarck, had said: “A healthy nation makes for healthy soldiers.” Ben Gurion knew that newly-created Israel faced daunting challenges and would need healthy youths to defend it; universal health care was the answer. Nothing socialist, or communist or fascist about common sense — a rare commodity in today’s GOP.
Israel’s experience parallels that of Germany, Canada, France, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Belgium, the Netherlands, Scandinavia and a host of other civilized nations that have a form of universal, single-payer health care: they all spend far less than we do and they are far healthier.
The Tea Party is soon having a big anti-Obamacare rally and it has invited a host of so-called “experts” to preach and throw some red meat to the TP choir. Facts are irrelevant in the TP firmament if they contradict TP ideology, but it would be interesting to hear how the “experts,” including McClintock’s chief of staff, square Romney’s speech in Israel with the “healthy nations” facts published by WHO and HEW, and with his record as the Governor who gave us Romneycare, Obamacare’s father.
JOHN C. GARON