Biden, Giuliani Discuss Health Care

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Summaries of recent developments in the presidential campaign related to health care appear below.

  • Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.): Biden on Friday at a Manchester, N.H., forum sponsored by Divided We Fail, a campaign launched by AARPand other groups that seeks to focus the 2008 presidential election onhealth care and financial security issues, discussed his health care proposal, the AP/Wilmington News Journalreports. According to Biden, the proposal, which would cost between $80billion and $110 billion annually, would not require U.S. residents toobtain health insurance. He said, "Americans will not accept mandates,"adding, "America is not prepared for that to happen. You will never getit passed. We are different and independent in a way that othercountries aren't." In addition, Biden said that a provision in theproposal under which the federal government would cover 75% ofcatastrophic health care costs -- medical bills that exceed $50,000 --would reduce health insurance premiums for companies and individuals.Biden also promoted a provision in the proposal that would allowindividuals between ages 55 and 64 to pay to participate in Medicare(Ramer, AP/Wilmington News Journal, 10/27).
  • Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R): Giuliani on Monday released a new radio advertisement to promote his health care proposal in which he discusses his experience with prostate cancer, Long Island Newsday reports (Thomas, Long Island Newsday,10/30). In the ad, which will begin to air on Tuesday in New Hampshire,Giuliani says, "I had prostate cancer, five, six years ago. My chanceof surviving cancer, and thank God I was cured of it, in the UnitedStates: 82%," adding, "My chances of surviving prostate cancer inEngland: only 44% under socialized medicine" (Campanile, New York Post,10/30). He adds that his health care proposal would lead to a "marketof 50, 60 million Americans buying their own health insurance, withouta mandate" and that the "cost of health insurance will come down andthe quality will come up" as a result. Under the proposal, familiescould receive tax deductions of as much as $15,000 to purchase privatehealth insurance. In addition, Giuliani in the ad criticizes healthcare proposals offered by Democratic presidential candidates as"socialized medicine." He says, "Government has never been able toreduce costs. Government never increases quality," adding, "We have thebest health care system in the world. We just have to make it better"(Curl, Washington Times, 10/30).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. Youcan view the entire Kaiser DailyHealth Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email deliveryat kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily HealthPolicy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The HenryJ. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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