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Rudy Giuliani on Health Care

Former Mayor of New York City; Republican Candidate for 2000 Senate (NY)


Health Savings Account up to $6,000 per family

Q: How can we curb the high cost of healthcare and also offer insurance to the people who don’t have it?

A: The very best way to do it is more of an incentive for people to buy their own health insurance. You give people a $15,000 family tax exemption to buy their own health insurance. You also give them a Health Savings Account to up to $5,000 or $6,000, so that they can then look for deductibles in insurance. And it brings down the cost of insurance. That’s one of the primary ways to do it. And then you break down the barriers where people can only buy in one state and you let them buy in any state, so that we can set up a real competition. The thing that works in America is not socialized medicine that the Democrats want to bring us, not government control, not mandates, but a large consumer market where you empower people to enter that market is the only way to bring down costs and to bring up quality.

Source: 2007 Republican primary debate on Univision , Dec 9, 2007

AdWatch:Cancer survival rate 82% in US; 44% in socialized UK

[Giuliani radio ad]:

GIULIANI: I had prostate cancer, five, six years ago. My chance of surviving prostate cancer, and thank God I was cured of it, in the US, 82%. My chances of surviving prostate cancer in England, only 44% under socialized medicine. You and I should be making the decisions about what kind of health care we get with our doctors, not with a government bureaucrat. What we need to do is to give people a $15,000 deduction for a family, a $7500 deduction for an individual so they can go out & by their own health insurance. If we do that, and we end up with a market of 50, 60 million Americans buying their own health insurance, without a mandate, the cost of health insurance will come down and the quality will come up. Government has never been able to reduce costs. Government never increases quality. We have the best health care system in the world. We just have to make it better.

ANNOUNCER: Rudy Giuliani. Leadership. Principle. Results

Source: FactCheck's AdWatch of 2007 campaign ad, “Chances” , Oct 30, 2007

FactCheck:Cancer survival rate 74% in UK; not 44% as claimed

In his radio ad, Rudy Giuliani falsely claims that under England’s “socialized medicine” system only 44% of men with prostate cancer survive. That number turns out to be the result of bad math by a Giuliani campaign adviser, who admits that his figure isn’t “technically” a survival rate at all. Furthermore, the co-author of the study on which Giuliani’s man based his calculations tells us his work is being misused, and that the 44% figure is both wrong and “misleading.”

It’s true that official survival rates for prostate cancer are higher in the US than in England, but the difference is not nearly as high as Giuliani claims. And even so, the higher survival rates in the US may simply reflect more aggressive diagnosing of non-lethal cancers.

With the wealth of research available, Giuliani may well find other evidence to support his opposition to expanded federal health insurance programs. But that’s no excuse for feeding a false statistic to the public.

Source: FactCheck's AdWatch of 2007 campaign ad, “Chances” , Oct 30, 2007

Medicare and Medicaid need a private solution

Medicare & Medicaid are presently more expensive than Social Security. And within 10 years, they’ll be twice as expensive. So they’re going to go bankrupt a lot faster. And they need a private solution as well [as a private solution for Social Security]. What we need to do if we’re going to bring down the cost of Medicare and Medicaid is bring down the cost of the entire health insurance market. If we have 50 million or 60 million people who bought their own health insurance, the price of health insurance would be cut in more than half. The people who aren’t presently covered with health insurance are not the poorest people; they’re covered with Medicaid. The people who are presently not covered are all consumers. They have consumer power. They have to start getting into that market. It’s the only way in which you bring down costs. If you start to establish a private market, you’re going to be able to figure out how to solve these things within costs that are sustainable.
Source: 2007 GOP primary debate in Orlando, Florida , Oct 21, 2007

FactCheck: No evidence that free market would halve premiums

Giuliani made a claim, unsupported by any evidence we can find, that health insurance rates would drop by half if more citizens bought their own health insurance. He said, “We only have 17 million people in America who buy their own health insurance. If we have 50 million or 60 million people who bought their own health insurance, the price of health insurance would be cut in more than half.”

We asked the campaign if there was any research supporting that statement, and they had no comment. The only backup we could find is Giuliani’s own faith in the virtue of free markets. He told news organizations that as people buy private health insurance instead of getting it from their employers, the competition for customers would cause companies to lower their prices.

We ran that logic by a Clinton administration analyst, who questions how such a price drop could happen, concluding, “The only possible way it would reduce premiums is if the underlying claims expenses were a third to a half lower.

Source: FactCheck on 2007 GOP primary debate in Orlando , Oct 21, 2007

$15,000 tax deduction for health savings accounts

Q: What do you think of Sen. Grassley’s compromise plan to cover 3.2 million more poor children by raising the cigarette tax?

A: The bill had two very unfortunate parts to it. One, it would reduce Medicaid Advantage, which is a very, very successful program that actually does bring about some form of a free-market solution. And second, it would have the really odd effect of moving children who presently have private insurance to becoming wards of the state, basically having them move in the direction toward socialized medicine. That would be a terrible thing to do. What we should do is increase the number of people who have private insurance. In order to do that, we should give them a major tax deduction, $15,000, let them have a health savings account as part of that. They’ll have an incentive to own their own health insurance. That’s the thing that’s wrong with the market here. It is not really good to move this thing in terms of more government control of health care.

Source: 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate , Aug 5, 2007

Switch from employer decisions to individual choices

I would change the whole model that we have for health insurance in this country. The problem with our health insurance is it’s government- and employer-dominated. People don’t make individual choices. It’s your health; you should own your health insurance. We need 100 million Americans making different decisions that will bring down the cost of health insurance; it will bring down the cost of prescription medicines. Free-market principles are the only things that reduce cost and improve quality.
Source: 2007 GOP debate at Saint Anselm College , Jun 3, 2007

$15,000 family tax deduction for your own health insurance

We should be giving you a major tax deduction--$15,000 for a family--so you can buy your own health insurance. Then we should have a health savings account in which you can put some money aside to pay for your ordinary medical expenses.

Health insurance should become like homeowners insurance or like car insurance: You don’t cover everything in your homeowners policy. But that is covered in many of the insurance policies because they’re government dominated & they’re employer dominated.

Source: 2007 GOP debate at Saint Anselm College , Jun 3, 2007

96,000 NYC children insured via HealthStat initiative

Mayor Giuliani has also been a leader in getting health insurance to children through the innovative HealthStat initiative, which uses computer technology to coordinate a citywide effort to enroll children in existing health insurance programs. To date, 96,000 eligible children and families have been given access to health insurance. These improvements have increased hope and opportunity for all NYC’s children and laid the foundation for our City to be even stronger in the 21st century.
Source: Official biography on Mayoral website www.nyc.gov , May 2, 2007

No socialized medicine; give vouchers to the poor

Rudy Giuliani accused his Democratic rivals of embracing health care plans that would amount to socialized medicine. Responding to comments in the first Democratic primary debate Thursday night, Giuliani claimed Democrats favor “mandatory” universal health care and the plans would only exacerbate the cost of care by putting the system in the hands of bureaucrats. “They’re moving toward socialized medicine so fast, it’ll make your head spin,” Giuliani said, adding that private solutions could help bring down the cost of care. “When we want to cover poor people, as we should, we give them vouchers.” Democratic candidates renewed their calls for universal health care during a debate in South Carolina, saying that a new system would help streamline costs and cover the nation’s 45 million uninsured.
Source: Mike Baker, Associated Press, apnews.com , Apr 27, 2007

Include a health savings account in healthcare reform

The plans that we’ve been talking about include a health savings account. You would be able to buy some of your health care and your prevention yourself. It gives you an incentive over a lifetime to deal with wellness. If you’re going to control costs, you got to do three things. You’re going to limit access to technology, change the reimbursement system for doctors and hospitals, or you’re going to have to limit the amount of treatments. That’s the only way we can bring costs down.
Source: 2008 Facebook/WMUR-NH Republican primary debate , Jan 5, 2006

We have the best health care system in the world

With all of its infirmities & difficulties, we have the best health care system in the world. It may be because we have a system that still is, if not wholly, at least in large part still private. To go in the direction of much more government care, much more government medicine, socialized medicine, is going to mean a deteriorated state of medicine in this country. That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be improved. The notion of people buying their own private health insurance is a very good one, so long as a lot of them do it. Only 17 million Americans right now buy their own health insurance. If 50 million Americans were buying their own health insurance, because it would be just as tax advantageous to do it that way, and we had a health savings account, economists believe there’d be a 30% to 50% reduction in the cost of health insurance, and quality would come up. The only thing that reduces cost and increases quality is a significant, dramatic, large consumer market, not government control.
Source: 2008 Facebook/WMUR-NH Republican primary debate , Jan 5, 2006

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Other big-city mayors on Health Care: Rudy Giuliani on other issues:

Mike Bloomberg (I,New York City)
Cory Booker (D,Newark,NJ)
Julian Castro (D,San Antonio,TX)
Rahm Emanuel (D,Chicago)
Phil Gordon (D,Phoenix)
Tom Menino (D,Boston)
Michael Nutter (D,Philadelphia)
Annise Parker (D,Houston)
Mike Rawlings (D,Dallas)
Jerry Sanders (R,San Diego)
Antonio Villaraigosa (D,Los Angeles)

Former Mayors:
Rocky Anderson (I,Salt Lake City)
Tom Barrett (D,Milwaukee,WI)
Jerry Brown (D,Oakland,CA)
Rudy Giuliani (R,New York City)
Dennis Kucinch (D,Cleveland,OH)
Sarah Palin (R,Wasilla,AK)
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Page last updated: Jul 06, 2014