Last week, when I questioned Ron Paul’s specious claim not to have accepted Medicare during his years as a practicing obstetrician, I was accused by several commenters of being in the pay of that arch fiend, Rudy Giuliani.This was odd coming from professed libertarians, because Giuliani is a much more credible advocate of free market health care reform than is the disingenuous “Dr. No.”

As I have pointed out before, Ron Paul has been all too ready to abandon his alleged libertarian principles. In addition to supporting a heavy-handed government mandate requiring hospitals to treat non-urgent patients, he wants the feds to bully private-sector businesses into selling their products below market value. These are not the positions of a genuine libertarian.

Giuliani, on the other hand, advocates reforms consistent with a free market worldview. He believes that health insurance should become like homeowner’s insurance or car insurance, and that current restrictions on the ability of consumers to buy such coverage should be lifted. In addition, he wants to provide tax incentives to facilitate that policy:

Giuliani says his plan for up $15,000 in tax breaks to help families pay for coverage outside employer-based plans … He would ask consumers who have long relied on getting health coverage through their jobs to consider entering the private market as a way to save money.

Giuliani is not, of course, a card-carrying Libertarian. Nor is he likely to endorse the more irresponsible “libertarian” positions on foreign policy. Nonetheless, in a political environment inhabited by statists like Hillary Clinton, big-government conservatives like Mitt Romney, or poseurs like Ron Paul, he is the nearest thing to a genuine free market reformer that we are likely to get in the upcoming presidential contest.

Comments 14

  1. Matthew wrote:

    BS, the BS is that you don’t have your facts straight. Ron Paul is for Free trade, with no gov’t intervention, this includes health care. Me, personally, I am sick and tired of the feds dictating how every corp should be run and dictating what is acceptable. Let the open market, (you know, supply and demand) determine what will succeed, and what will fail without gov’t bailouts.

    Based on your writings, I would guess that you are funded by the pharmacoms, or the insurance companies. Backing Giuliani is not the answer to the current lack of affordable health care.

    Posted 31 Jul 2007 at 8:39 am
  2. bret wrote:

    Is this a joke? I can’t believe you would suggest that Giuliani is somehow more pro-market than Paul. Newsflash for you – Tax “incentives” is not a pro-market approach. Abolishing taxes IS. Eliminating the cartels’ stranglehold on licensing and prescription is another good step. To say nothing of the fact that Giuliani’s “responsible” non-libertarian foreign policy would surely eat up more money, combined with his “tax breaks” for health care. How you can differentiate between the tax-spend “liberals” and the tax-spend “conservatives” is beyond me. You should be ashamed of yourself, sir.

    Posted 31 Jul 2007 at 10:29 am
  3. Eric Dondero wrote:

    Wow! Excellent article. Refreshing to see someone telling the truth about Ron Paul. Mind if I reprint it at my blog?

    BTW, there’s much about Ron Paul that is being ignored by the media that has yet to be exposed. They’re giving him a pass cause they like him bashing Bush and the War in Iraq.

    Eric Dondero, Fmr. Senior Aide
    US Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX)

    Posted 31 Jul 2007 at 10:45 am
  4. Robert M. wrote:

    The fact of the issue is that if healthcare is socialized, hospitals will have to treat a guy with foot stitches before a guy with cancer. The current system, private, allows the worst problems to get treated first, because its worth more. Capitalism works best for everyone.

    I’ll vote for Ron Paul.

    Posted 31 Jul 2007 at 10:47 am
  5. Catron wrote:

    Eric, by all means have at it.

    Posted 31 Jul 2007 at 10:52 am
  6. Ray wrote:

    Giving people $15,000 tax breaks for health care is stupid because its not free market and its essentially what has our system so screwed up in the first place. If you let people deduct up to 15k they have a strong incentive to buy 15k worth or insurance. This is what alot of corporations do allready because of the tax deductions, they buy super expensive policies. These are not true insurance they have rediculously low premiums like $30-50. Patient no longer have any incentive to control cost and since its through the insurance companies the doctors just charge the maximum amount. Welcome to the rise of the HMOs. This is a scheme by guiliani to get every american family to give an HMO $15k because it wont cost them anything because they can deduct it from their taxes. But in reality everything cost something, the federal goverment will loose revenue and have to raise taxes and the HMOs will make out like bandits and we will still be stuck with the same corporate medicine we have now instead of true free market reform like Dr. Paul proposes.

    Posted 31 Jul 2007 at 12:16 pm
  7. Eric Dondero wrote:

    It’s now up at

    Thanks David. Let’s stay in touch!

    Posted 31 Jul 2007 at 1:48 pm
  8. To_Rule_is_2_Destroy wrote:

    “We see only the oppressive side of authority. Maybe it comes out of our history and our background. What we don’t see is that freedom is not a concept in which people can do anything they want, be anything they can be. Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do…At the core the struggle is philosophical. There are many, many things that can be done in law enforcement to protect us better. There are many things that can done to create a government that is more responsive and more helpful.”
    Rudy Guiliani
    Thats not a pretty libertarian statement if you ask me.

    Personally I think Rudy’s free market approaches will amount too nothing. I don’t think understands free markets. He’s never really worked in the private sector, never ran a business. His whole career has been spent in Gov’t, until the last few years when he joined an already established law firm. They used his name to attract big corporate accounts, usually at the behest of them gaining some kind of government contract. End in the end Rudy’s policies will be to Haliburtionize health care for the poor, and he’ll call the free market, and tell us how he made the government more helpful.
    I just don’t see how you can rip Dr. Paul, when most of the libertarian establishment, supports him and about 90% of his positions. I would bet in the cases of medicare patients, he just did the work for free. He was the only OB/GYN in that county at one point, and refusing to accept medicare is unlawful. The next thing you’ll rip him for is taking the pro-bono work off his taxes, I guess. But hey go ahead an support the gun grabber if you feel you must.

    Posted 31 Jul 2007 at 2:43 pm
  9. Matt wrote:

    The irony of a Giuliani fan lecturing others on libertarian principles is lost on no one.

    Posted 31 Jul 2007 at 4:04 pm
  10. Mr. Moderate wrote:

    For all the free market talk, I wonder why people keep thinking that the market will produce affordable health insurance for sick people. It doesn’t provide affordable car insurance for drivers who keep getting into wrecks. It doesn’t provide affordable flood insurance for people who live in a flood plains. It doesn’t make sense that it will produce affordable health insurance for the people that need it most. It isn’t a moral judgement of the market, it’s a fact of the amoral nature of markets. If that is what we want, so be it. But let’s not be under the illusion that market forces will magically make affordable insurance for the elderly and people with chronic or terminal diseases.

    Posted 31 Jul 2007 at 10:30 pm
  11. Kevin Houston wrote:

    Julie-Annie? A Libertarian?


    Julie-Annie is for Public Funding of Abortions! You can’t get anymore non-libertarian than that. Setting aside the immorality of abortion for just a moment, no libertarian would agree that it should be publically funded. Rudy tries to justify his position by saying that if it’s a Constitutional right, then the public should pay for it.


    Shall we now have public funding for people who want to own guns but can’t afford to? Not during Giuliani time. During Giuliani time, we bring lawsuits against gun manufacturers…

    Besides which who cares which of them is more Libertarian, this is the Republican nomination we are contesting for. If it makes you feel better, I am prepared to concede that Ron Paul is more Republican than Julie-Annie. (You would then be free to assume that Julie-Annie is therefore more Libertarian.) :)


    Posted 31 Jul 2007 at 10:49 pm
  12. C. Wesley Fowler wrote:

    I agree Dondero, you and David should keep in touch. You seem to be about equally inclined to expose your ignorance and agenda.

    2 peas in a pod, clearly. Now get busy David, you need to hurry and delete the posts here which don’t tow the line! I’d be sure to delete Dondero’s as well if I were you. Anyone who looks at that blog of Dondero’s and associates him with you will pay a lot less attention to your spastic opinions.

    Posted 01 Aug 2007 at 12:52 am
  13. Ron Holland wrote:

    Giuliani the former Fed prosecutor, mayor of NYC and head of Giuliani Partners “is more free market than Ron Paul”,
    give me a break. He has spent his entire life at the government trough feeding on the tax revenues of productive members of society.

    The free market is always superior to top down government and political actions.

    Posted 01 Aug 2007 at 6:54 am
  14. Ricky wrote:

    I’m all for Ron Paul, but keep in mind that Rudy did help take new york from a bad condition, to a much better one. Some more good debates between candidates will help resolve any concerns.

    Posted 09 Aug 2007 at 1:39 am

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