Klein bases that opinion on the following:
In the speech introducing and detailing his new health care proposal, Giuliani refers to the "Democrats" six times. "Single-payer" is said eight times. "Socialized medicine," or some variant thereof, makes nine appearances. "Uninsured" is never uttered -- not once.So, what does Giuliani's plan actually offer?
A tax exclusion of up to $15,000 for families, and $7,500 for individuals, to help pay for health care. What Giuliani is relying on is people reading those numbers -- $15,000 and $7,500 -- without noticing that they don't denote the amount of money he's offering them, but the amount of money he's not taxing them on. And when we plug it into my magical Rudy Translation Machine (constructed with the help of friendly neighborhood economist, Dean Baker), we can watch how $15,000 can easily become … zero.Schemes based around tax subsidies just don't work according to Klein, and he backs that opinion up with research from the RAND Corporation who recently examined whether government subsidies could solve the problem of the uninsured.
Let's stipulate a family of four -- a mom, a dad, and two children. The type of family Republicans like. And let's say your household income is $30,000 a year. Giuliani's tax exclusion will save you … nothing. Your income isn't taxable anyway. Bring it up to $40,000 … and it's still nothing. Your child tax credits are crossing out your taxable income. Indeed, according to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, 55 percent of the uninsured don't earn enough money to have any taxable income. This proposal -- unless changed from a straight exclusion to a refundable tax credit -- will do literally nothing for them.
Don't get me wrong, some families will save a few bucks. If you make $50,000, Giuliani's exclusion will save you $1,220. And if you make $70,000, you'll get a whopping $2,250. And the higher up the income ladder you go, the more our hypothetical family unit will save. Meanwhile, here's the kicker: According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, in 2006, premiums for family coverage amounted to, on average, $11,480. Giuliani's giveaway barely makes a dent.
So it's no surprise that Alan Cohen, head of Boston University's Health Policy Institute, looked at Giuliani's "vision" and said, "I don't think it's likely to increase coverage of people to any great extent, and I don't think it's going to get a handle on health care cost inflation in this country."
They researched the health care decisions of nearly 25,000 new health care subscribers in California. Their conclusion? "Government subsidies that cut health insurance premium prices in half for people without insurance would reduce the number of uninsured Americans by just 3 percent."Three percent? That's no solution, Rudy.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities also examined whether tax incentives would be an effective way to expand health coverage and came up with a similar conclusion:
[...] proposed tax subsidies for the purchase of health insurance would likely be of little help to most low-income families, given the high premiums and out-of-pocket costs associated with individual-group coverage.So, Giuliani's plan isn't much of a plan, but maybe that wasn't his point according to Dr. McCanne at Physicians for a National Health Program. He looked at Rudy's health care proposal and offered this comment:
Rudy Giuliani’s choice of health care advisors is all you need to know to understand his positions on reform. His decision to trump rational health policy with extremist libertarian ideology does tend to make you question his political skills. He obviously isn’t poll driven.Rudy, polls show that a majority of the voters want a national health care plan and they're willing to pay more in taxes to get it. If you won't react to the will of the majority now, then you're not worthy enough to be president. The people deserve to have the ear of the next person in office.