- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani continues to look past his Republican presidential foes to target front-running Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton, talking candidly about his bout with prostate cancer and deriding the New York senator’s plan for “socialized medicine.”

In a new radio ad titled “Chances,” debuting today in New Hampshire, Mr. Giuliani highlights his pledge to give Americans more control over their health insurance by offering free-market solutions.

“I had prostate cancer, five, six years ago. My chance of surviving prostate cancer, and thank God I was cured of it, in the United States: 82 percent,” he says. “My chances of surviving prostate cancer in England: only 44 percent under socialized medicine.”

Mr. Giuliani and other Republican candidates often call Mrs. Clinton’s plan for national health care “socialized medicine.” Under her plan, every American would be required to buy insurance, either through their employers or through a new program that would resemble Medicare or the federal employee health plan.

Mr. Giuliani, who opposes such a mandate, has proposed giving families a $15,000 tax deduction to buy private health insurance policies instead of depending on employer-provided insurance.

“You and I should be making the decisions about what kind of health care we get with our doctors, not with a government bureaucrat,” he says in the ad.

The mayor has noted that the free market has driven down prices on such items as plasma televisions — which cost $20,000 when they were introduced, but some models now sell for less than $2,000 — and vision-correction surgery, which has dropped in price by 38 percent in less than 10 years.

Mr. Giuliani, campaigning yesterday in New Hampshire, argues in the new ad that if enough people buy private policies, free-market competition will change the face of health insurance.

“We end up with a market of 50, 60 million Americans buying their own health insurance, without a mandate, the cost of health insurance will come down and the quality will come up,” he said.

The mayor has been seeking ways to sell himself as a credible conservative, even though he holds several liberal positions on social issues, including on abortion and homosexual rights. But by targeting big government — and by association, Mrs. Clinton — Mr. Giuliani hopes to convince some Republicans that he is conservative enough for their support.

“Government has never been able to reduce costs. Government never increases quality,” he says in the ad. “We have the best health care system in the world. We just have to make it better.”

Meanwhile, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney was also in New Hampshire yesterday and picked up the endorsement of the state’s senior senator.

Sen. Judd Gregg joined Mr. Romney at a rally in Concord and walked with him to the Statehouse, where the former Massachusetts governor submitted paperwork to get his name on the presidential primary ballot.

“Mitt Romney embodies New Hampshire’s values — values that stress government living within its means, lower taxes, a stronger military and stronger families,” Mr. Gregg said in a statement.

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