America’s New Health Care System
Should look more familiar to Israelis
The U.S. health care system just became a lot more like Israel’s. This morning, President Obama signed the health care bill—formal title: Affordable Health Care for America Act—into law in a White House ceremony. Though it does not provide universal health care, it requires most Americans to have health insurance (and offers subsidies, discounts, and an expanded Medicaid for those who would have trouble affording it); it is expected to extend insurance to over 30 million uncovered Americans. Israel does have universal health care: all citizens are required to enlist in one of four health maintenance organizations. (The situation in the Palestinian territories is, unsurprisingly, a lot more complicated.) The state backs the HMOs, and there is a health insurance tax. There are, however, no death panels.