Giuliani Claims Democratic Rivals' Health Plans Moving Toward Socialized Medicine

Friday, April 27th 2007, 3:11 pm
By: News On 6

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) _ Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani on Friday accused his Democratic rivals of embracing health care plans that would amount to socialized medicine.

The former New York City mayor, responding to comments in the first Democratic primary debate Thursday night, claimed Democrats favor ``mandatory'' universal health care and the plans would only exacerbate the cost of care by putting the system in the hands of bureaucrats.

``They're moving toward socialized medicine so fast, it'll make your head spin,'' Giuliani said, adding that private solutions could help bring down the cost of care. ``When we want to cover poor people, as we should, we give them vouchers.''

Democratic candidates renewed their calls for universal health care during a debate in South Carolina, saying that a new system would help streamline costs and cover the nation's 45 million uninsured.

Among the top-tier Democratic candidates, John Edwards has offered a specific health care plan that would require everyone to have health insurance.

Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., used the debate to describe a health care plan that would increase coverage by allowing the uninsured to buy into a plan similar to the one for federal employees, improve technology to cut costs and provide government-funded catastrophic insurance to prevent business from going bankrupt when they offer health insurance.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York has not offered a specific proposal, saying she is still listening to voters on the issue.

Earlier this week, Giuliani drew a sharp rebuke from the Democratic candidates for suggesting that the United States could face another major terrorist attack if a Democrat is elected in 2008. He didn't back down from the comments.

On Friday, Giuliani also argued that Democrats are unwilling to reform the nation's education system with charter schools. He said that as mayor he struggled to reform New York's schools.

``We weren't really able to fundamentally reform them,'' Giuliani said, adding that he was naive to think he could. ``They have to be (reformed) if they are going to be a ladder out of poverty.''