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Giuliani Offers Rx
On Health Care

Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani released a health care proposal yesterday that avoids the expansion of government-programs and tax increases on the wealthy that have defined the plans put out by Democratic 2008 contenders Barack Obama and John Edwards, but also would cover far fewer people.

When employers offer health insurance to their workers, those expenses can be written off, reducing their tax burdens. Currently individuals do not get the same deduction, but under Giuliani's plan, up to $15,000 of a family's health care spending would be excluded from taxes. The former mayor's plan would also offer tax-credits to low-income individuals, although his campaign did not detail how much the credits would be worth or who would be eligible for them. Giuliani's proposal also calls for efforts to reduce the number of lawsuits filed against doctors.

While Giuliani's campaign did not release an estimate, health experts said the plan resembles a proposal President Bush made in his State of the Union speech earlier this year that it is estimated would have covered seven million of the uninsured. Both Edwards and Obama are seeking to cover all 45 million of the Americans who don't currently have insurance.

In a speech in Rochester, New Hampshire Giuliani sharply contrasted his approach with the Democrats, saying "if you take more people and have government cover it, it's called socialized medicine." The more important contrast in the campaign may however be with former Massachusetts Governor and 2008 Republican candidate Mitt Romney, who in the Bay State signed a universal health care bill that expands public programs like Medicaid and requires individuals to purchase insurance, a step Giuliani disagrees with. Edwards plan closely resembles Romney's initiative when he was governor.

--Perry Bacon Jr.

By Post Editor  |  July 31, 2007; 6:11 PM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , Rudy Giuliani  
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