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.