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This Is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

October 22, 2007


Health Care: Blue vs. Red

I was curious. After checking the Democratic party's front-running Hillary Clinton's website for her health care plan, I decided to do the same with her GOP counterpart, Rudy Giuliani, who is his party's lead contender.

Each site's home page had a link pointing to the issues, and clicking on the link brought you to that candidate's page on the issues. One might assume that the candidates put their most important issues on top while leaving the lesser issues languishing towards the bottom of those pages. Both listed ten issues with short explanations of their stances and links to a more expanded explanation. Here's the order for both candidates:

No one could argue that each one of the issues listed are at the top of the list for different Americans. Similarly, it would be hard to argue that each one of these issues isn't important to all Americans to some degree. According to the latest CBS News Poll (October 14-16, 2007), the most important issues to Americans is the Iraq War, and understandably so. However, in a virtual ties with the Iraq War in importance is health care (26 percent to 25 percent, within the margin of error), and that should make any candidate take notice, even America's mayor, Rudy Giuliani.

It didn't.

Conspicuously absent from Rudy's Top Ten List (with apologies to David Letterman) is the number one or number two issue in importance to the American people. Rudy's number two issue is cutting taxes, a favorite of the Bush administration and one which benefits the Bush "base" of "haves and have mores" than any of us regular Americans didn't bother to put on our top ten list.

Health care to Rudy Giuliani is an issue better left off the table. As a matter of fact, Rudy's website only mentions health care as it relates to his announcement on July 29th of this year that he has put together a commission on the issue.

"The group consists of Dr. Daniel Kessler, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute,"
-Rudy's website

Is anyone who considers health care to be an important issue, let alone the most important issue, supposed to take solace that Rudy is "studying" the health care problem and has assigned a member of the ultra-conservative Hoover Institute as his front-man on the issue? And wasn't the Hoover Institute named for the US President who was in charge during the stock market crash of 1929, and the ensuing Great Depression which followed?


A Yahoo.com search using the keywords "Rudy Giuliani Health Care" came up without the mention of a real health care plan by the former New York City mayor. It did, however, come up with this NewsMax archive titled "Rudy Giuliani's Health Plan: 'Take Care of Yourself'". NewsMax is the ultra-Conservative (NeoCon) website owned by NewsCorp, the parent company of Fox News Channel. According to NewsMax, Rudy actually does have a plan: he plans to give every American a tax break of some $15,000 per year. Of course even this plan forgets the real problem that most Americans who don't have health care insurance don't pay $15,000 per year in federal income tax. Funny how you can't find this place anywhere on Rudy's site, isn't it?

Rudy Giuliani is not the answer to fixing our health care problems. He is, however, the answer to the dreams of Bush's "base" of "haves and have mores" to "Stay the Course" in spite of what the rest of the nation wants and needs. Rudy is the answer to the health care insurance industry's plea to keep things the way they are.

The Democratic candidates all seem to have real health care plans superior to those of their GOP counterparts, with former Senator John Edwards' plan appearing to be the better of them all (of the ones which could actually get through Congress). However, for comparison sake's, I decided to compare the two parties' front-runners, and, in the end, there is no comparison.

-Noah Greenberg

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-Noah Greenberg