Solving our nation’s problems: any semblance of rational thought has now left the room

At a fundraiser in Israel, Mitt Romney marveled at how little Israel spends on health care relative to the United States. He was jealous and wished we could find a way to contain our costs like they have. He probably likes the quality of their health care too – Israel ranks #18 in life expectancy; we’re #50.

Israel has had completely socialized health care since they became a nation 65 years ago.

“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.

But, but, but  f-r-e-e-d-o-m !  (Or maybe you could just look around you Mitt.)

10 responses to “Solving our nation’s problems: any semblance of rational thought has now left the room

  1. It wouldn’t be so sad if it seemed like Romney and the congressional GOP was interested in anything other than repealing ‘Obamacare. I see no evidence that is true though.

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    • Hey bruce, how ya’ doing?

      You’re right – they’ve never offered any seriouls proposal that doesn’t leave tens of millions iwthout insurance or access to anything other than the emergency room – and of course that signals (to me at least) that they really don’t give a frack. It’s all, and only, about rolling back entitlements and defeating Obama.

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  2. Your post prompted me to look up health care on the Heritage Foundation website, since they determine Republican policy on the issue. It’s pretty interesting; they propose an “alternative to the central planning paradigm” of the ACA, the “evolution paradigm”, based on “setting goals, …flexibility…to reach those goals, and using financial incentives rather than regulation to encourage innovation… to foster many approaches and allow “natural selection” to sort out the best.” I found two concrete policy proposals buried in the social Darwinism 1) reform of premium support in Medicare, “in which the federal government would provide a fixed (though indexed) contribution, or subsidy, toward coverage.” 2) “converting much of Medicaid into block grants to states….Combined with far greater flexibility for states in finding ways to cover low-income people, it is intended to encourage states to become “laboratories of democracy” and remake health care for less-affluent Americans.”

    So the plan is simple: Grandma will get x amount of Medicare dollars annually; if her costs exceed x, bummer for Grandma. The aim here is “deeper” than just budget control; it’s “to provide seniors with a far greater incentive to seek the best value for money”. This “incentive” will be far more successful than Washington regulations in “helping Medicare move beyond traditional fee-for-service systems or in getting the health industry to try better delivery arrangements.” Well, yeah, it’s an incentive, in the same way giving someone a couple bowls of gruel a day could be called an “incentive” to lose weight; it’ll definitely work. And no doubt sick old Grandma will have a great time shopping around for the lowest price on every procedure she needs; we all know Grandma loves to shop.

    The same applies to Medicaid. The feds dump fixed block grants on the states, which have to figure out how to deliver care to the poor, sink or swim; Romney is proposing this, Heritage notes proudly. Sure hope there aren’t too many failed experiments in those “laboratories of democracy” churning out new and innovative health care delivery to the poor and needy. Or maybe the states, with their newfound “flexibility”, i.e., freed from Washington regulation, will just treat Medicaid recipients the same as Grandma.

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    • Ojmo – what is no longer on the Heritage site is the 1989 plan they put forward as the as the conservative answer what was then called the ‘free rider’ status for those who were not insured. It called for an ‘individual mandate’ and it was the model for the plan Romney passed in MA which of course is the model for Obamacare which is of course a socialist conspiracy. hatched in the Heratige Foundation!

      Forbes Mag had a good story in Feb “The Torturous history of conservatives and the individual mandate”

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