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Sunday, November 18, 2007

By his own definition, Rudy was against "socialized medicine" before he was passionately for it, now that he's against it again

First, some context. Recently, Giuliani attacked efforts to expand the children’s health insurance program (SCHIP) calling it “socialized medicine.”

Furthermore, the NYTimes reported yesterday:
In an interview last month on New Hampshire radio, Mr. Giuliani said that expanding the children’s program was a “typical Democratic, Clinton kind of thing” and that enrolling more children “is not just a beginning, it’s a big step in the direction of government-controlled medicine.”

But what did Rudy used to think about such programs?

Some Rudy supporters may claim that such statements mirror his record as mayor of NYC.
He began his tenure in City Hall vowing to curb the role of government in health care. He removed large numbers of people from welfare. He tried, but failed, to sell off New York City’s public hospital system. And he discouraged New Yorkers from enrolling in Medicaid, the government health program for the poor, telling city health officials that the program was a “bad idea.”

. . .

Mr. Jones, president of the Community Service Society, a liberal research and advocacy group in New York, said that in Mr. Giuliani’s first term, in setting out his complaints that the city was paying too much for Medicaid, he wanted the board to state publicly that Medicaid was a “bad idea.”

That's some "red meat" conservatism, eh?

But the problem for Rudy is that he later went on to strongly promote Medicaid enrollment as well as other healthcare enrollment initiatives thus landing a perfect 10.0 on the TRUE "Flip-Flop" meter (you know, the Kerryesque kind of flip flop of being on both sides of same issue repeatedly.) You want evidence?
in the spring of 2000 . . . he suddenly announced that the city would embark on one of the most aggressive efforts in the country to enroll children and adults in public health programs like Medicaid and Child Health Plus, the state insurance program for children.

He named his effort HealthStat, after his aggressive and widely praised crime reporting program, CompStat. He said he would follow the same course on insurance: he would root out the uninsured as he had rooted out criminals

. . .

In 2000, Mr. Giuliani . . . [announced] his effort to enroll as many as one million more city residents in government health programs.

Addressing the City Council and other city officials, Mr. Giuliani, commanding the room like a general marshaling his troops, said: “The first priority in dealing with the universe of people who are not enrolled in health insurance is to enroll as many children as possible. All city agencies are going to be mobilized.”

Pointing to maps of the city neighborhoods with many uninsured residents, he went on to detail an elaborate plan that would involve weekly reports on enrollment progress. “This is something that in a city like ours, if we can do this, becomes a model for the rest of this country . . ."

. . .

Mr. Giuliani’s effort as mayor to triple the number of New Yorkers with health insurance through government programs appears nowhere in his own description of his record on his presidential campaign Web site. And Mr. Giuliani has attacked efforts in Congress to expand the children’s health insurance program that his administration doggedly expanded, calling it “socialized medicine.” During Congress’s recent battle on the issue, Mr. Giuliani aligned himself with President Bush to limit coverage. Mr. Giuliani’s campaign declined to make him available for an interview for this article.

Some are seeing the flip-floppery here:
Mr. Giuliani’s critics say that his changing views and policies on health insurance during his eight years in City Hall are a prime example of the kind of political expediency that has defined him as a mayor and now as a presidential candidate. His current market-based proposals on health care — which would give consumers tax benefits to buy their own insurance and the poor some combination of tax refunds and vouchers — seem to have him campaigning against his own record in some ways, they say.

“It’s not the first issue he’s done a 180 on,” said Fran Reiter, a Democrat who was a deputy mayor under Mr. Giuliani and ran his 1997 re-election campaign. “I think it’s hard to ask people to judge you on your record when you’ve now walked away from what is a very clear record when you were mayor.”

I would just correct Fran Reiter that Rudy hasn't just done a "180" on this issue, he's done a full "360." Can this man be trusted?

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