JERUSALEM — Presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney offered praise for the Israeli health care system today — a medical plan that has been socialized since its founding in 1948.
Romney, who championed the Massachusetts health care mandate, but is an opponent of the federal mandate passed by President Barack Obama, marveled at how little Israel spends on health care relative to the United States.
"When our health care costs are completely out of control. Do you realize what health care spending is as a percentage of the GDP in Israel? 8 percent. You spend 8 percent of GDP on health care. And you’re a pretty healthy nation," Romney told donors at a fundraiser at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, speaking of a health care system that is compulsory for Israelis and funded by the government. "We spend 18 percent of our GDP on health care. 10 percentage points more. That gap, that 10 percent cost, let me compare that with the size of our military. Our military budget is 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 finally manage our health care costs."
Romney has explained that he opposes ObamaCare because what worked in Massachusetts may not work for other states. Highlighting the success of the Israeli system — in a country that enjoys one of the highest life expectancy rates in the world — could complicate matters for Romney at home.
Rights of the Insured under the National Health Insurance Law
-—Every Israeli citizen is entitled to health care services under the National Health Insurance Law.
—Every resident has a right to register as a member of an HMO of his/her choice, free of any preconditions or limitations stemming from his/her age or the state of his/her health.
—Every resident has a right to receive, via the HMO of which he or she is a member, all of the services included in the medical services basket, subject to medical discretion, and at a reasonable quality level, within a reasonable period of time and at a reasonable distance from his/her home.
—Each member has a right to receive the health services while preserving the member’s dignity, privacy and medical confidentiality.
—Every Israeli resident has the right to transfer from one HMO to another.
—Each member has a right to select the service providers, such as doctors, caregivers, therapists, hospitals and institutes, from within a list of service providers who have entered into an agreement with the HMO to which the member belongs, and within the arrangements in place for the selection of the service providers, and which the HMO publishes from time to time.
—Each member has a right to know which hospitals and institutes, and other service providers, are included in the agreement with the HMO, and what are the selection processes at the HMO.
—Each member has a right to see and to receive a copy of the HMO regulations.
—Each resident has a right to receive from the HMO complete information concerning the payment arrangements in place in the HMO for health services as well as the HMO’s plans offered for additional health services (CIP).
—Each member has a right to complain with the Public Inquiries commissioner at the medical institute that treated the member, to the person in charge of investigating member complaints at the HMO of which s/he is a member, or to the complaints commissioner for the national health insurance law in the Ministry of Health.
—Each member has a right to file suit at the district labor court.