A new twist in the battle over health care: Analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office suggests that Pres. Obama's health care plan could indeed coexist with private insurers without driving the latter out of business.
Steve Forbes, CEO of Forbes Inc., and Rudolph Giuliani, former mayor of New York City, offered CNBC their insights into health care reform, energy policy including cap-and-trade — and the Obama administration's Achilles heel.
"When you're talking about health care, the concerns are very personal," said Forbes.
Thus, although the adminstration was able to "browbeat" institutions such as insurers and medical providers, in the end, "Congress listened to its constituents" — and pushed back in a "grass-roots" movement.
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Giuliani points to an ominous ideological move that could prove to be Obama's undoing:
"When Pres. Obama took tort reform off the table," Giuliani said, he ignored a key danger to the health-care system: "the excessive costs of doctors being sued."
In abandoning tort reform, Obama "made it an entirely political program."
"How can you ask Republicans to be part of a bipartisan group, when you take tort reform off the table?"
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Forbes acknowledged that "the current health care system has very real problems... But the question is: where do we go?"
He rejected the "socialist" systems of the U.K. and Canada, saying their "cancer outcomes" are worse than America's.
Forbes said the main problem is that "we don't have real free enterprise" in the U.S. health care system.
"I want to go in the free enterprise direction...Why not let individuals get the same tax breaks corporations do?
For Forbes' and Giuliani's take on the recovery, the Federal Reserve, credit markets — and Obama's re-election chances, watch the full interview.
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Disclosure information was not available for Forbes, Giuliani or their respective business entities.