Mitt Romney, already beset by criticism during his stop in London, may have one-upped himself in Israel today, first by offering his controversial take on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and then championing the third-rail of the GOP: socialized medicine.
From an article in the New York Times:
“Do you realize what health care spending is as a percentage of the GDP in Israel? Eight percent,” he said. “You spend 8 percent of GDP 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. That gap, that 10 percent cost, compare that with the size of our military—our military which is 4 percent, 4 percent. Our gap with Israel is 10 points of GDP. We have to find ways—not just to provide health care to more people, but to find ways to fund and manage our health care costs.”
Israel’s health care system is an instructive exercise in all that rankles American conservatives—replete with government mandates, price controls and centralized payments funded mostly by high taxes.