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Romney, Giuliani Trade Criticism Over Health Care

Armen Hareyan's picture

Presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) on Tuesday during an appearance at All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla., said that presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) in 1994 "had nothing but praise" for the health care proposal offered by former President Bill Clinton (D) and then-first lady Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), the AP/Miami Herald reports. According to a recent New York Times article, Giuliani in 1994 said that the proposal was "doing some pretty good things" (Farrington, AP/Miami Herald, 11/27).

Romney said, "Why the change in attitude? He was all roses and petals for Hillary's plan. ... Now that I'm running for president, he's decided it's not such a good idea" (Campanile, New York Post, 11/28).

Giuliani has criticized Romney for a recently implemented Massachusetts health insurance law that requires all state residents to obtain coverage. Giuliani spokesperson Katie Levinson said, "Romney passed a mandate and tax hike-laden health care plan in Massachusetts which Hillary Clinton's own legislative director said was just like HillaryCare" (AP/Miami Herald, 11/27).

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Romney on Tuesday defended the law, which he said "didn't cost us more money" or "require raising taxes" because the state financed the legislation with federal funds provided to reimburse hospitals for charity care (Liberto, St. Petersburg Times, 11/28).

Clinton Criticizes Obama Health Care Plan
Clinton on Tuesday in Des Moines, Iowa, criticized presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) because his health care proposal would not require all U.S. residents to obtain health insurance despite a report he commissioned that supported such a mandate, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. As an Illinois senator, Obama commissioned a report that found an expansion of health insurance to all state residents would require such a mandate, Clinton said.

Obama "takes credit for ... a health care task force to look into the question, how do you provide universal health care in Illinois? Well, they came back with their report earlier this year and it is very clear: if you want universal health care, you need to have a mandate," Clinton said (Sweet, Chicago Sun-Times, 11/28). She added, "He got up to the edge of whether or not to support universal coverage and backed down because it is a more difficult goal to achieve" (McCormick, Chicago Tribune, 11/28).

According to the Sun-Times, the report recommended a plan in which "all Illinois residents will be required to obtain health care coverage" but was not completed until January -- three years after Obama left office in the state (Chicago Sun-Times, 11/28). Obama spokesperson Ben LaBolt said that Clinton opposed such a mandate in the 1990s, a claim denied by the Clinton campaign (Chicago Tribune, 11/28).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives. The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. 2007 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.