Rudy needs a little more work on his be afraid, be very afraid shtick when it comes to health care reform. He obviously hasn't had quite enough time to recite Frank Luntz's talking points memo since he stumbled and stuttered through the interview. Blitzer actually tries calling him out for some of the talking points, but of course like a good little Villager, relents in the end and doesn't really challenge him.
BLITZER: Let's talk about health care reform, a critical issue right now for the country.
Republican Senator Jim DeMint from South Carolina, he made news this week when he said this: "If we're able to stop Obama on this it will be his Waterloo. It will break him."
He's not backing away from that either.
Do you agree with Senator DeMint?
GIULIANI: Well, I think it's a critical measure for a different reason. I don't see the politics of it as much as I do a tremendous impact that I think could have a destructive impact on the American system as we know it. I doubt that...
BLITZER: Because right now, 40 million or 45 million Americans don't have any health insurance.
GIULIANI: They don't, but about half of them could afford it if it was just more affordable. And what you don't want to do is ruin the system for the whatever million, 90 million, 100 million, 118 million.
BLITZER: Because President Obama keeps saying if you like what you have with the private insurance, if you like your doctor, you can keep exactly that. Nothing is going to change.
GIULIANI: Well, then what are all these commissioners that he's appointing that are going to determine health care outcomes? And the fact that you add 30 million, 40 million people to a government program that's already very large means the government will be the major player in health care. It already is pretty close...
BLITZER: He says that he wants one government option to compete with the private insurance companies.
GIULIANI: But that government option will be so big, it will just overwhelm all private insurance companies. If it's 40 million people, that conceivably could be part of it.
BLITZER: But that doesn't necessarily mean all 40 million would opt for that government option.
GIULIANI: No. What it does mean, it means that a lot of people who presently have private insurance will opt for it because it will be cheaper. In fact, they believe -- the estimates believe that at least half the people that join that government program will be people who presently have private insurance.
BLITZER: Their argument is if there's a cheaper government option, that will put pressure on the private insurers like Blue Cross/Blue Shield, UnitedHealthcare, whatever, to lower their premiums.
GIULIANI: Well, it also will mean they may lower their service. And they may -- you read this bill carefully, which is one of the reasons...
BLITZER: Which bill are you talking about?
GIULIANI: I'm talking about the House bill. If you read the bill carefully, it has things in it like a government official determining whether you can have stents after you're 59 years old.
BLITZER: Well, right now, a private insurance company bureaucrat is making that kind of decision.
GIULIANI: Yes, but you can walk out on that if you want.
BLITZER: But if you don't have any -- if you might not have any options, you might not leave that insurance company.
GIULIANI: And you can -- and you have different insurance companies that have different programs. And your employer or you can shop between different programs. When the government makes that decision for 40 million, 50 million people, that's a very frightening...
BLITZER: Because the argument is, you know, do you trust a Blue Cross/Blue Shield bureaucrat or a UnitedHealthcare bureaucrat any more than you would trust a U.S. government bureaucrat?
GIULIANI: I trust lots of different companies being available, competing with each other. I really believe there should be a lot more competition and a lot more of it should be turned over to private enterprise. I trust my doctor to be able to deal with four or five different private companies rather than a big, massive government that frightens the heck out of you running this.
BLITZER: So you don't believe these private insurance companies would be able to survive if there were this government insurer?
GIULIANI: I think that private insurance will be overwhelmed. Right now, Medicaid has a big impact on the pricing of private insurance. If you all of a sudden double, in essence, the size of Medicaid, it will overwhelm -- private insurance companies will be gone.
And this whole argument over whether we're nationalizing health care or not, I think part of the problem is the administration is having is they're not being honest. Yes, they want to nationalize health care. That is precisely what they're doing when they build these big government...
BLITZER: They deny that.
GIULIANI: Well, what's the big government insurance companies?
BLITZER: It's going to be one option available to individuals. If you like what you got now, they say keep it.
GIULIANI: But if you don't, then you join the 40 million or 50 million who are part of the nationalized health care. That's bigger than socialized medicine in England.
There aren't that many people in the socialized medicine program in England. And if these models worked in England and Canada and elsewhere, it would be great. But what the heck do we want to become England and Canada for? They're coming here for treatment. Nobody goes there for treatment.
Blitzer...okay we'll change the subject now thank you. Mr. Loser Giuliani, just what do you think of how the President is doing so far? Oh, he's a super scary socialist who pals around with terrorists? That's just what I thought you'd say. Thanks for coming in.
Okay, he didn't actually say that, but it was close. Really Wolf, you couldn't get John McCain and Fred Thompson for some follow ups as well?