Giuliani Health Care Plan Focuses on Individual Coverage
Former New York Mayor and presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani (R) plans to announce a health insurance proposal that would shift tens of millions of U.S. residents from employer-sponsored to individual coverage "as a way of giving people more coverage choices," the Wall Street Journal reports.
The proposal, which Giuliani plans to announce in detail this summer, would not eliminate employer-sponsored health insurance but would promote an "ownership society," in which neither state regulations nor federal tax laws force residents into expensive health plans.
The proposal would allow residents to purchase health insurance from any state, regardless of their place of residence, to help them find more affordable coverage. In addition, the proposal would provide tax deductions for all residents who purchase health insurance, regardless of whether they obtain coverage through their employers or the individual market.
Giuliani said that the health care system requires a "paradigm shift" toward the individual health insurance market. Currently, about 17 million residents have individual health insurance, compared with about 175 million who have employer-sponsored coverage.
Giuliani said, "What I would do is change the whole model that we have for health insurance in this country. The problem with our health insurance is it's government and employer dominated. People don't make individual choices."
However, Giuliani said that he opposes proposals to require all residents to obtain health insurance because of cost concerns, although many health care policy experts "say the individual market will only work well" with such a requirement, the Journal reports.
In addition, the proposal from Giuliani is "risky" because most residents "don't want to see their insurance plans cover fewer services" and because "experts say that providing greater benefits encourages patients to see doctors before an illness progresses too far and is costlier to treat," according to the Journal (Meckler/Harwood, Wall Street Journal, 6/7).