JERUSALEM—The State of Israel, which will turn 65 years old on May 14, plans to apply for Medicare, the U.S. national social insurance program, according to Chaim Weizguy, head of Israel’s Health and Welfare Agency.
Weizguy announced that Israel wants to join Medicare in order to qualify for badly needed economic surgery that would then be paid for by the U.S. government.
The surgical operations, Weizguy said, would include tightening the budget, cutting government spending, raising taxes, lifting a sagging bottom line on exported goods, trimming fat from welfare programs, and performing a nip and tuck of moneys allocated to Jewish religious schools.
In addition, the Israeli army would undergo a chemical peel to better protect itself in the event of biological warfare attacks.
Critics of the proposed plan argue that it is wrong for Israel to join Medicare, especially at a time when the U.S. itself is in dire economic straits, with many American economists still worred about the nation going over the fiscal cliff.
Weizguy said that to avoid criticism, Israel would apply for Medicare under an assumed name such as Egypt or Iraq, which already receive billions of dollars annually in American aid.