Israel finally joined the Universal Health Care trend in 1995, leaving the United States as the only country in the developed world not to offer health care insurance to all. Israel’s healthcare ranks in the top 5 in the world in efficiency, with life expectancy ranking fifth among all OECD members.
Universal health care, despite all of its tangles and hurdles, works for Israel.
The United States, on the other hand, is struggling with crippling health insurance costs. It’s a big business in America.
A quick glance at the breakdown of the GDP in the United States raises red flags. Health care costs accounted for 17.9% of the country’s GDP in 2014. Israel’s health care costs account for just 7.5% of the country’s GDP.
Life expectancy in the United States is much lower than Israel, too.
Should the United States adopt universal health care like Israel?
Will it happen? It’s unlikely.
Bernie Sanders, the so-called “socialist,” is fighting for “Medicare for all.” His plan has secured 16 co-sponsors just this week. The plan, from the outside, seems like a good choice for Americans. There would be a series of tax changes needed to implement the plan, but the legislation would provide healthcare for all residents in the United States over time.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders came out against the proposal, calling it “horrible.” Republicans are calling the plan a move toward socialism, with the Republican party wanting to put the power in the hands of states rather than the government.
Sanders’ plan comes with a white paper outlining how the expenses would be covered. The Vermont Senator is calling for a new tax on the 0.1% of the wealthiest Americans.
Sanders states that depending on the individual’s income, taxes may rise, but he notes that the savings in health care premiums would greatly offset these tax increases.
The program would provide coverage for everything, from basic medical supplies to surgery and treatment for long-term illnesses.
A trend in the United States is taking place. Kaiser Health News, ran a poll that found 53% of Americans are for single-payer health care. Republicans control both the White House and Congress, with little chance of Sanders’ plan going through as a result.
The problem is that the United States life expectancy is low, health care outcomes rank the lowest, yet costs are sky high. A report from the Common Wealth Fund found that the U.S. ranked last on performance and near last, or sometimes last, on efficiency, outcomes, access, care process and even administrative.
Common Wealth Fund’s findings suggest that the United States should look at a system that serves all Americans if it hopes to increase performance. The study also notes that the U.S. spends far more on health care than other countries with lower health care proficiency and efficiency.
It’s time for the country to make a change.
Republicans have just 17 days to repeal the ACA, with Senator Lindsey O. Graham from South Carolina suggesting block grants for states. The plan would allow states to manage the funds. States would define their own health care rules.
The problem is mismanagement on the state-level. The plan would allow states to spend grant money on anything health-care related, so the money may never reach the needs of low-income individuals.
Opting for a system similar to Israel has the potential to increase life expectancy, boost efficiency and reduce health care costs.