Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Healthy Jews

This may be the best example I've seen of how diseased the R party in general and its flag-bearer in particular have become. In Israel, home of his BFF, The Rominee has gone all gushy over their health care system.

... according to The New York Times, Romney spoke favorably about the fact that health care makes up a much smaller amount of Israel’s gross domestic product compared to the United States:

“Do you realize what health care spending is as a percentage of the G.D.P. in Israel? Eight percent,” he said. “You spend eight percent of G.D.P. 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 G.D.P. 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 spends less on health care because of a universal health system that requires everyone to have insurance. Every Israeli citizen has the obligation to purchase health care services through one of the country’s four HMOs since government officials approved the National Health Insurance Law in 1995. People pay for 40 percent of their HMO’s costs through income-related contributions collected through the tax system, and the state pays the remaining 60 percent. And by many standards, Israelis are getting better health care than U.S. citizens. The infant mortality rate is much lower, and its mortality rate due to heart disease is half the U.S. rate.

See? It's a universal health care system, with government controls and -- get this!! -- an individual mandate. The sort of stuff that, whereas it was once advocated by Republicans, has been evil incarnate since Ds, and especially that black guy, took up the cause.

Of all the demagoguery over health care, the worst by far, and the most cynical and hypocritical, has been the teabaggR/RWS™ reaction to the first honest attempts to control health care costs in some way other than by reducing pay to providers and hospitals. By attacking effectiveness research as "death panels" and "government takeover" and "killing grandma," Rs have abandoned a formerly central tenet of conservatism, and something for which they'd advocated for decades: controlling Medicare costs. In doing so, they've made meaningful cost control all the harder, if not impossible. But they don't care. It's not about improving the country. It's about winning at all costs; and since lying -- absent any sort of positive agenda -- is the best they've got, it's what they do.

The Rominee, of course, has never had two sequentially consistent thoughts in a row; so when he praises Israel's health care, it's just another attempt to wring money out of the Sheldon Adelsons of the world. That in one swell foop he negated everything he's ever said about Obamneycare since he started running for president didn't occur to him, evidently. He says what he says at a given moment for its effect on the audience of the moment. Coherency of message, that hobgoblin, is the last thing on his mind. His principles: QNS.

Were he to translate what he said in Israel (about health care, not capitol cities) to his presidency, there might be hope for getting something done (his words about Jerusalem have already undone much). But on what evidence, based on current behavior towards the craziest of his base, should we think such a thing possible?

1 comment:

  1. Umm might wanta watch goin down that road...
    Sure Israel has National Health Care..
    They also let teenage girls walk around with M-16s(the fully automatic kind, not our want-a-be semi-autos)
    and I know its just so totally outrageous to move the US embassy, to you know,
    the capital of the country...
    next thang those Palestinians will start shooting rockets and flying airliners into tall buildings...



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