[August 12, 2007 @ 9:22 am] David Catron

Rudolph Giuliani’s recently announced health care strategy has been getting mixed reviews. The Left’s carefully coordinated denunciation was, of course, no surprise. Less predictably, some free market advocates, like Cato’s Michael Cannon, have also been underwhelmed. David Hogberg is among those whose enthusiasm for Rudycare is tepid. His American Spectator piece on “Hizzoner’s” plan explains why:

The more I look at Giuliani’s plan, the more it seems to me that it is, to use a football analogy, a field goal at best. Not altogether bad, but quite a ways from a desired touchdown.

As the field goal analogy suggests, Hogberg likes some aspects of Giuliani’s strategy, particularly those features dealing with the FDA and the tax code:

Parts of his plan are quite good. For one, he wants to scale back the regulatory process at the Food and Drug Administration so it is less costly to bring new drugs to market. The best part of his plan is the tax exclusion that will allow those without employer-based coverage to have a deduction up to $15,000 for the purchase of health insurance.

So, what’s Hogberg’s beef? Well, his main problem with Rudycare is the expansion of government’s role as envisioned by the plan:

For example, it gives block grants to the states to “improve health care quality and make health insurance more affordable.”  Given the mess states have made in causing health insurance to be unaffordable, it’s curious why the Mayor wants to fund them with the expectation that they can now make it more affordable.

This is, of course, an excellent point. And Hogberg has similarly thought-provoking reservations about Giuliani’s vision of an IT partnership between government and the private sector, and his plan to allow the definition “affordable coverage” to be set by bureaucrats. 

To some extent, however, Hogberg is allowing the perfect to be the enemy of the good. It’s not without its problems, but Rudycare is vastly superior to anything put forward by the other Republican presidential candidates. And, goodness knows, it’s far better than anything we’re likely to get from Hillary.

So, despite the flaws that Hogberg so eloquently exposes,  I’m still enthusiastic about “Hizzoner’s” plan.

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