I've been a fan of Rudy Giuliani for a long time. Sure, he might be confrontational and have a big ego, as is appropriate for the most powerful mayor in the world, but the man can get things done. I loved what he did with New York City, turning it from a city that was great and terrifying to a city that reestablished itself as the premier city in the world.
I've been vacillating between Rudy and Mitt Romney for a while because of a couple of reasons. My head certainly goes for Rudy. I think that he's someone who could lead the country and lead it well. He's perhaps a bit tough, but he'll get the job done and cut through bureaucracy to do it. Mitt shares my values a little bit more and I think he's by far the most telegenic of the Republican candidates. Fred Thompson is a wild card, and while I liked him as Trudeau in Die Hard 2 and as Admiral Painter in The Hunt for Red October, but that was then and he was running an Air Traffic Control tower and an aircraft carrier...this is running the US in real life. On the electability scale, he's probably tops, but that's a discussion for another post.
Today Rudy came out with his proposal for health care (subscription required), and I have to say that it's better than anything else I've seen so far. In a nutshell, he wants to move insurance from a group benefit at work to something along the lines of car insurance, where you buy it individually on the open market, extending the tax advantaged status of health care premium dollars to those individual plans. I'm not at all sold on Mitt's Taxachussacare or on any of the Democrats' versions of Hillarycare. Rudy's seems like a relatively common sense, but incremental improvement in the system. While in some sense going it alone is far preferable because you don't get stuck in with high users and their over-utilization, it also has the potential to cause everyone to pay a little more. Personally, I'd take the chance because I know that the insurance companies are giving our company the shaft on rates - a 10% increase for no real reason (we had good utilization the past 2 years and they made out with a nice profit there), and we can't really go elsewhere because they'll quote maybe a 9.75% increase or whatever. I'm done with HMOs and the sooner we can move back away from that anachronism of the 50s the better. Let's keep moving on the transition to HSAs with catastrophic coverage and whatever free market options that people come up with. It's the only way we will ever be able to trim the fat from the health care system - eliminate the middle man. Right now, he's about 800 lbs and dining on filet mignon, but through a little common sense, I think we can take care of business and get it down to where it's something that is still important, but doesn't consume an ever growing part of our GDP.