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DNC: Rudy Shows Again He's Out-of-Touch With America's Priorities

Giuliani's Comments Come After Failed Mayoral Record and Drug Industry Ties

WASHINGTON, Dec. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- After diverting his private plane to seek emergency medical care last week, Rudy Giuliani showed just how out of touch he is with the needs of average Americans when he told the Tampa Tribune editorial board that Republican voters are not concerned about health care "maybe because Republicans have health care." [Tampa Tribune, 12/27/07]

Rudy's comments come as a new Associated Press survey shows that most voters say health care is "extremely important to them personally." The poll indicates that 64 percent of men and women approaching retirement are "worried about a major unexpected medical expense" and most voters say they are far more likely to trust Democrats to handle health care. [Associated Press, 12/28/07]

On the campaign trail, Giuliani has had to defend his abysmal health care record as voters learn that he slashed New York City's health care services and profited by lobbying for the drug industry. During his tenure as mayor, he cut the number of city hospital beds by 28% and then, in the private sector, he personally lobbied Congress against lowering the cost of prescription drugs through safe re-importation.

"Rudy Giuliani's comments reveal just how out of touch he is with what's going on in America," said DNC Spokesman Dag Vega. "Rudy's perspective may be tainted given his lavish lifestyle but the fact remains that most Americans are worried about health care. It's no wonder that most Americans trust Democratic leaders to make health care coverage a priority."

A Record That Raises Concerns: Giuliani Slashed City Health Services

Giuliani Cut Hospital Funding by Almost Half a Billion Dollars, Blocked From Privatizing By Courts. Giuliani cut funding for the NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation, which provides coverage to those who can't afford private hospitals, by $28.4%, or $300 billion between FY94 and FY01. ["Agency Expenditures," City Revenue and Spending Since 1980, NYC Independent Budget Office]

Blocked From Privatizing By Courts. His attempts to privatize the system were unanimously rejected by the state's highest court in 1999, and Giuliani called the notion of public hospitals "a bias and prejudice of a bygone era." [New York Daily News, 3/31/99]

Giuliani Cut Number of City Hospital Beds By 28%. The number of beds in the Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) was down 28 percent under the Giuliani administration, from 10,416 in FY1994 to 7,451 in his FY02 plan. [Mayor's Management Report, 1995, p. 82 (Volume II); Preliminary Mayor's Management Report, 2000, p. 107 (Volume II)]

Budgets Routinely Slashed Important Health Services. Examples of annual cuts include: In 2000, "Giuliani's budget also includes a $2.1 million cut for city-run child-health clinics serving the poor, and it slashes $1 million from a program providing family-planning services in poor neighborhoods with high infant-mortality rates." A 1999 plan would have cut $500,000 from a program that encourages HIV/AIDS testing. A 1997 proposal cut $78 million in city-provided Medicaid funds, and in 1995 he actually asked the state to cut the Medicaid funds it sent to the city [Newsday (NY), 5/10/00, Aids Policy and Law, 5/14/99; Newsday (NY), 1/31/97, 1/22/97]

Mimicking Bush on Prescription Drugs

Giuliani Supported Problematic Republic Drug Plan. As recently as 2006, Giuliani praised the 2003 GOP prescription drug bill. [Club For Growth Press Releases, 5/14/07]

Prescription Drug Bill Heavily Tilted Towards Drug Companies. In 2003, the GOP forced through Bush's prescription drug bill, a $100 billion giveaway to the pharmaceutical and insurance industries. The bill's "donut hole" left a gap costing seniors much as $4,020 out of pocket per year before receiving full coverage. The bill also made it illegal for Medicare to bargain with drug companies over the price of prescriptions, which was expected to cost the federal government $332 billion [Vote 459, 11/25/03; In These Times, 1/5/04; The New York Times, 2/3/04; The Hill, 11/19/03; Washington Post, 11/26/03]

Giuliani, Working For PhRMA, Testified That Reimporting Prescription Drugs Were Dangerous. Giuliani was a paid consultant to the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the drug maker trade group fought drug importation proposals in Congress. The National Journal reported that "Giuliani Partners, industry lobbyists said, has a one-year deal with PhRMA that was valued at a few million dollars. After becoming employed by PhRMA, Giuliani testified to Congress in 2004, parroting the talking points of the special interests paying his consulting firm. "It is pretty much right now a wide open system," Giuliani told senators. According to Congressional Quarterly, his report asserted that safety and security risks "far outweigh any alleged benefits for US residents." [National Journal, 3/13/04; Associated Press, 6/17/04; CQ HealthBeat, 4/11/07]

Paid for and authorized by the Democratic National Committee,

This communication is not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

SOURCE Democratic National Committee
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