The office of Nita Lowey, my representative in the House of Representatives of the United States Congress, recently asked me to answer a survey on the beleaguered Affordable Care Act.

The survey included this question:

What improvements to the health care system are most important to you?

These options were presented for an answer:

  • Better cost control for premiums
  • Lower deductibles
  • Controlling prescription drug costs
  • Increase in number of affordable plans/options
  • Tax-credit/government subsidy to help pay premiums
  • Increasing Medicaid coverage
  • No opinion

But the form only allowed me to choose one answer. So instead of choosing just one of those options, I wrote an answer in the “other” box:

All of the above. I want us to work towards universal healthcare, but it doesn’t need to be single-payer or purely public. A hybrid public/private model such as that in place in Israel might work well in the USA. New York could be a trailblazer on this, acting with courage and setting an example for the entire country.

At the time I was wrote that (10 minutes ago) I didn’t know that:

In 1995, Israel became the second-to-last country of the developed world to provide health care insurance coverage to all of its citizens, leaving the U.S. as the only holdout.

…from An Overview of Israel’s Universal Health Care System, published with no byline by The Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics at the University of Pennsylvania.

That seems perhaps a bit reductive, though, as according to the relevant Wikipedia article:

Israel has maintained a system of socialized health care since its establishment in 1948, although the National Health Insurance law was passed only on 1 January 1995.

…the citation for which is Can Universal Healthcare Work? A Look at Israel’s Successful Model.