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Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men watch Israeli surfers during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot in the southern Israeli port city of Ashdod, Monday, Sept. 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

There was a time in the United States — in the 1990s — when health maintenance organizations were the biggest thing in health care. Many hospitals and private practices were moving toward an HMO model of care, and it seemed as though the U.S. health care industry as a whole would shift to an HMO-driven system — which is how health care is deployed in Israel, a country that’s been using HMOs as major care providers (and, later, the country’s primary care provider) since before the Israeli state was even created.


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