July 30, 2012, 8:34 PM19 Comments New York Times
Look Whoís Praising Socialized Medicine
MItt Romneyís inability to stay on script is really getting surreal. Today he lavished praise on the Israeli health care system, which has indeed done a fine job of controlling costs while maintaining high quality. But as everyone who knows anything about it quickly pointed out, the secret of Israelís success is Ö intense government involvement. Itís a single-payer system; but unlike Medicare, it also sets a budget per capita (adjusted for health status), so that the nonprofit plans are in effect forced to set priorities for treatment and also negotiate hard over provider payments; think of it as price controls plus death panels.
Romneyís remarks here fit the classic (Galbraith?) definition of a gaffe: itís when a politician accidentally tells the truth. The truth in this case is that Americaís uniquely privatized system is also uniquely expensive and inefficient; health care is one area in which the public sector does it better than the private sector, and in which free-market doctrine is just a dangerous fantasy.
But of course Romney canít admit that.
And like everyone else, Iím really beginning to wonder about him. All he has to do to avoid creating a mess while on this trip is to stay bland and talk in generalities; instead, heís causing international incidents every step of the way. Something is very wrong with whatís going on inside that impressive head of hair.
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