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“Do you realize what health care spending is as a percentage of the GDP in Israel? eight percent," 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. "You spend eight percent of GDP on health care. You're a pretty healthy nation. We spend 18% of our GDP on health care. Ten percentage points more. [...] 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 find and manage our health care costs."
If making the American health care system more like Israel's is what Mitt wants to campaign on when he gets back home, it would shake up the presidential race, to say the least. Traditional partisan preferences would be thrown to the wind—except perhaps by the "I dislike Obama because he's a socialist, not because I'm racist" racist crowd, who, faced with a very white Republican advocating socialized medicine, would still find their way to voting for Romney.
But the far more likely explanation for these comments is that after the London debacle, Romney's handlers recalibrated him too far in the direction of "praise everything about your host nation."
Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 07:25 AM PDT.