July 31st, 2007
11:30 AM ET
10 years ago

Giuliani blasts Democrats health proposals

Rudy Giuliani took issue Tuesday with Democratic health care proposals.

(CNN) - Speaking before a town hall forum Tuesday, Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani lambasted the health care plans put forward by the Democratic presidential field.

"We've got to do it the American way. The American way is not single-payer, government-controlled anything. That's a European way of doing something; that's frankly a socialist way of doing something," the former New York mayor said. "That's why when you hear Democrats in particular talk about single-mandated health care, universal health care, what they're talking about is socialized medicine."

Giuliani was in Rochester, New Hampshire, to discuss his health care proposals. He said he would reform the current system by using free-market solutions that he said would facilitate consumer-driven health care.

"America's health care system is being dragged down by decades of government-imposed mandates and wasteful, unaccountable bureaucracy," he said. "To reform, we must empower all Americans by increasing health care choices and affordability, while bringing accountability to the system."

Giuliani was scheduled to appear later in the day in Norwalk, Connecticut.

–CNN Political Desk Editor Jamie Crawford


Filed under: Healthcare • Race to '08 • Rudy Giuliani
soundoff (72 Responses)
  1. Jamie; Columbus, OH

    Sure, if you don't want universal healthcare or "socialized" medicine, that's fine. Please give an intelligent alternative rather than say catch phrases like making it more "affordable" and "giving people more choices" and "doing it the American way." The point of "socialized medicine" is to make healthcare more affordable and accessible. Oh, by the way, the "wasteful bureaucracy" you speak of also used catch phrases and empty words. How about something with substance?

    July 31, 2007 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  2. David, San Mateo, CA

    Now hold on a minute, wasn't Kucinich the only Democratic nominee who supported a "single-payer" system? I was pretty certain neither Clinton, Obama, or Edwards were advocating that.

    July 31, 2007 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  3. Ian, Eastham MA

    Giuliani's position on this subject almost sounds like Ron Paul's. Although, since he's provided no specifics, I not sure he really knows what to say beyond "Free markets, good; Government, bad".

    There are several problems with our healthcare system. Most problems can be traced to government policies, which stack the decks against us.

    For instance, if your employer pays your health insurance it’s tax deductible for them. If you pay it, it's not. Since your company chooses your insurance, you lose out on choice and competition suffers.

    Also, the same procedure is priced around 50% LESS when an insurance company pays, because they get a discount. That means you get hosed on any healthcare expenses when you pay yourself! This puts health services and health insurance out of range for many.

    The best system would allow individuals to purchase catastrophic insurance coverage and make price discrimination illegal for healthcare providers (including pharmaceuticals).

    It’s funny, no one is complaining about auto insurance. We choose that ourselves, there are reasonable deductibles, good competition, and the body shop charges the insurance company the same amount they’ll charge you for the same repair.

    July 31, 2007 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  4. Mary, Beaver, PA

    I noticed how good England's National Health Service was when I was there: layoffs and red ink because it's not fiscally viable. And don't ask my English husband about the quality of medical care. Eight percent of everyone's income funds the system, and yet my husband suffered with severe neck injuries for 18 years because the doctors kept looking for injuries in his shoulder. That doesn't even count the apathy of his primary provider, who suggested that there was always the river if he couldn't stand the pain. His cousin has had numerous bouts with skin cancer but has to see a private provider because the waiting list through NHS is too long. My husband had to do the same to get timely dental care. Yes, the US health system has problems, but let's be very careful before we replace it with something that only looks good from a distance.

    July 31, 2007 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  5. Mike, Staatsburg, NY

    Maybe someone should tell re-marrying Rudy that the "European, socialist" way of doing things is costing nations like Germany, France, Switzerland, Holland, etc., half as much as a percentage of GDP in health care costs as it is costing America... and they cover EVERY CITIZEN.

    U.S. way: 14+ percent of GDP, 46 million uninsured
    "European, socialist" way: 7% of GDP, 0 uninsured

    I'll take the "European, socialist" way, thank you!

    July 31, 2007 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  6. James

    When Guliani "defeated" prostate cancer he did so by having the best insurance a rich white man's money can buy. Of course he could care less about the 47 million Americans without health insurance, or the 51% who need to see a doctor but don't because of the cost. This old Nixonesque mantra of "socialized" medicine "more taxes", etc. is as outdated as Bushs' oil policies in Iraq. I suppose he is implying here of doing away with Medicaid as well since that too is "socialized" medicine.

    July 31, 2007 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  7. Sam (Belleville, Michigan)

    I think the detractors of a universal health care system are missing something.

    Not EVERYONE has to be on the governmental health care system. Health care can still exist the way it does today. If you have a job and have health insurace through it, that won't change. But for the tens of millions of Americans without health insurance, this will help them.

    Take me for instance. I am a 25-year old college graduate. I have a degree in teaching, a fairly noble and upstanding profession. Here in Michigan, it is hard for me to find a job. I am working with middle-schoolers currently, but at an hourly rate. I don't have health insurance through my job. I have to pay $100 a month for bare-minimum insurance.

    I am not one who would "abuse" the sytem or "rely" on government. However, I feel I am exactly the person the Democrats are thinking of when they think of universal health care. A system to help those who can't afford it at their current situation.

    July 31, 2007 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  8. Susan, Fort Pierce, Florida

    What a joke the Republicans are! I would give anything to have a health care system like Canada's. Yes, some elective surgary you have to wait for but I would rather wait to have a knee replacement and know that I won't have to worrry about the cost rather than have the operation tomorrow and be in debt the rest of my life with a half a million dollar hospital bill! If that is the "American Way" than I will take Canada's any day of the week. Peace of mind is the best medicine!

    July 31, 2007 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    Susan, Fort Pierce: If Canada is so great and the U.S is so bad than why don't you go to Canada? Nothing in life is free. Socialized health care will not work. Socialism is bad, have you forgotten this? We are trying to get away from our government controlling every aspect of our lives. They couldn't handle Hurricane Katrina, but you think they can handle your health care and MILLIONS of other people's. You and many others need to wake up and do research because your going to kill our country.

    July 31, 2007 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  10. steve, Albuquerque NM

    Typical Giuliani – trying to scare americans into voting for him – pathetic

    First of all, Universal health care is NOT socialized medicine (another lie by Guliani) – people who have insurance will keep it, but this is just a way to help cover those 47 million people w/o care

    Second – this is a moral and even a "christian" issue – can those of us who have access to health care actually look someone in the face who does not and seriously tell them we are too selfish to help them get health care coverage? That is truly sad if people feel that way... I guess for republicans the american way is "every man for themselves"

    For those of you who detest government helping people – then I guess it is ok to take away you grandma's Social Security check, your son's federal student loans, and the FMLA leave that your wife got when she was pregnant...

    July 31, 2007 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  11. Lindsay, Milwaukee, WI

    European healthcare is not working. Canadian healthcare is not working. Sicko is just another biased viewpoint getting a lot of press. It's not accurate.

    To the girl who'd pay a little extra so her little sister can have health insurance – go ahead, pay a little extra. Just don't expect all of us to pay too.

    To the question about Canadians – there are LOTS of Canadians disatisfied with their healthcare, that's why they come to the US for almost all surgical procedures. Here's another question for you – have you met a Canadian or European who has single handedly improved their socio-economic status? Not without coming to America.

    July 31, 2007 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  12. Sam (Belleville, Michigan)

    Looks like those detractors of universal health care keep coming and don't bother to look at my post a little up on the board that clearly explains why this is not a terrible, awful thing. Look up a bit, read it, and explain to me why it'd be so evil if the government helped me out for a bit.

    July 31, 2007 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  13. Greg, Phoenix, AZ

    Sam,

    Noone is saying that our healthcare system is working properly. It obviously is not. However, the moderates on this board, and others, are only saying that we must do it the right way.

    If we tried to overhaul our system in such a way as to move to a government funded, and government officiated system the strain on our economy would be beyond belief. Our taxes would go so high that healthcare would be about the only thing you could afford (because it would be free and worthless).

    Please be cognizant that the various political parties are only trying to get elected and are NOT speaking out for people like you and me.

    July 31, 2007 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  14. TC Plainfield IL

    If you want a presidential candidate with the guts to stand up for the rights of insurance and pharmaceutical companies, then Rudy is you man! The rest of us will be looking for a better answer.

    July 31, 2007 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  15. steve, albuquerque, NM

    To Lindsay, Milwaukee, WI or others who claim that european health care is not working – do you have some proof that you could share with us?

    Or are you just regurgitating what Rush, Hannity and others have told you without questioning it

    Provide some evidence and then we will believe you

    July 31, 2007 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    "Susan, Fort Pierce: If Canada is so great and the U.S is so bad than why don’t you go to Canada? Nothing in life is free. Socialized health care will not work. Socialism is bad, have you forgotten this? We are trying to get away from our government controlling every aspect of our lives. They couldn’t handle Hurricane Katrina, but you think they can handle your health care and MILLIONS of other people’s. You and many others need to wake up and do research because your going to kill our country."

    Too bad they dont want us...

    "I guess for republicans the american way is “every man for themselves”

    For those of you who detest government helping people – then I guess it is ok to take away you grandma’s Social Security check, your son’s federal student loans, and the FMLA leave that your wife got when she was pregnant…"

    Actually America was founded as a nation that gave people freedom to pursue their own dreams without intervention from the government. In a way you could call this every man for himself. The founding principle of the country was "work hard and get ahead , dont work hard, you fail". When did it become my responsibility to worry about people who wont work intentionally? For those who are unable to work I understand the argument.

    Three of my four grandparents are dead. None of them relied on Social Security as their sole source of income, they were actually frugal and saved for their retirement. I wasnt eligible for government aid for college. Most companies (if they are intelligent), would give that pregnant leave these days to keep their employees happy. In fact many of them are giving *gasp* paternity leave too.

    So yeah, I dont want the government to have any say in my life. I forgot though, Im too stupid to take care of my own life, so the government should do it for me.

    If you dont get insurance from work, find a better job. Duh

    July 31, 2007 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  17. Sam (Belleville, Michigan)

    Greg. What I believe the idea is by certain Democrats is NOT to overhaul the system as you claim, but to simply help the uninsured. I do not think anyone wishes to dramatically alter the sytem so that everyone is covered by the government. I believe the idea is that the uninsured would be helped, and for someone like me, I could have free insurance while I find a job, then once I do, that public school district would then pay for my insurance, thus taking the burden off the fedreal government.

    July 31, 2007 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  18. Mike, HI

    First of all, Universal health care is NOT socialized medicine (another lie by Guliani) – people who have insurance will keep it, but this is just a way to help cover those 47 million people w/o care

    And how are we helping those 47 million people? By taxing everyone, right? Does that mean raising taxes (which means those who "keep it" will have a harder time keeping it)? I'm all for cutting some federal programs, but which ones do the Democrats have the balls to cut?

    Second – this is a moral and even a “christian” issue – can those of us who have access to health care actually look someone in the face who does not and seriously tell them we are too selfish to help them get health care coverage?

    Then you can donate money to help them out. It should be done of your own accord, and you should be allowed to give the money to who you think deserves it or would use it best. That's more efficient than the government taking it and throwing it at the bureaucracy.

    July 31, 2007 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  19. John, Ca.

    ENOUGH REPUBLICAN IGNORANT HATE-SPEECH!

    We have a hybrid system now and there is no reason why we can't expand this hybrid system to cover everyone with basic medical coverage. It would save money in the long run if everyone had access to preventative care versus using the emergency rooms as the provider of last resort often when it is too late.

    ENOUGH HYSTERIA. TAKE OFF THE IDEOLOGICAL BLINDERS AND REPLACE THEM WITH A THINKING CAP.

    IT'S MORALLY RIGHT AND ECONOMICALLY RIGHT TO PROVIDE UNIVERSAL CARE FOR ALL!

    July 31, 2007 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  20. dan

    The real story here is that Giuliani made a speech without mentioning 9/11.

    July 31, 2007 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  21. Sam (Belleville, Michigan)

    To the anonymous poster that stated "if you don't get insurance from work, then find a better job. duh." This is a VERY poor way of looking at things. Getting a better job isn't simple. I'm a teacher looking for work. I'm actively searching for work. I have an extremely noble profession. It's hard to find a job. So, simply going to get better jobs is not simple in today's economy in the midwest, so please don't put us down.

    July 31, 2007 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  22. Greg, Phoenix, AZ

    Sam,

    The problem with that idea is that you would have the GOVERNMENT assigned with the task to oversee and maintain the extremely complex system. You have seen their inability to rectify social security's multitude of problems so I don't really see how you could think they will be able to get this one right.

    We have a capitalistic society that has continually proven to be the strongest in the world so I think I would put my trust in the American way over what some Democratic presidential candidate sells me on to get elected.

    I wish nothing but the best for you, and hope your situation stabilizes very soon.

    July 31, 2007 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  23. Pixie, Murfreesboro, TN

    Why do you republicans complain about having to pay more taxes to ensure every AMERICAN receives at least the minimun health coverage, yet when your buddies in the white house raise the prospect of yet another war in the middle east (Iran!), there is no garment rending and pearl clutching about the cost in tax dollars that a war will incur?

    For Anon who said this: "Lets see, social security is going bankrupt, our education system is one of the worst in the world, and our police, fire, and postal workers are underpaid, and underfunded. Yeah, I really want beauracrats in charge of my healthcare…"

    Please provide support for your claims instead of Rush talking points.

    July 31, 2007 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    To Sam,
    "I could have free insurance while I find a job, then once I do, that public school district would then pay for my insurance, thus taking the burden off the fedreal government." Ill ignore the obvious spelling error, and give you the benefit of the doubt that it was a typo. However I can ignore the blatantly idiotic statement you just made there. Public schools (including salary and any benefits), are funded by taxpayers. So while the federal government itself wont be financing your healthcare, taxpayers still would.

    Furthermore, its time to stop whining that you cant find a job as a teacher. No one owes you a job as a teacher. While I admire that youve chosen this a profession, not everyone gets the career they want right away. Often times, people work at another job until they are able to find employment where they want. Ever consider moving to another district? Or how about working at a non-public school?

    July 31, 2007 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  25. Anonymous, CA

    Then what is the solution Rudy?

    All I hear is a mouth full of hot air and meaningless cliches such as accountability and market driven reform that would would some how magically fix the healthcare system.

    Code for the poor would still have no coverage and the HMO's can continue to use corrupt practices to deny people coverage or services.

    July 31, 2007 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
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