This is a rush transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," October 30, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: All anyone is talking about on the campaign trail, Rudy Giuliani hitting New Hampshire hard with a new radio ad on health care today. It is a state he now believes he can win, and it is an issue he now believes he owns, because he had cancer once, and he is using his battle against it to push his health care message. It is a risky, if not unprecedented move, but, in an exclusive interview with me today, one he says he needed to make.
CAVUTO: Mayor Giuliani, great to have you.
RUDOLPH GIULIANI, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Nice to be here, Neil.
CAVUTO: You have an interesting health care plan, but you're putting yourself out there, and you're kind of reliving your own battle with prostate cancer. Was that a touch-and-go kind of a decision for you?
GIULIANI: No. No. I have written about it. I have talked about it so much. I have given so many lectures on prostate cancer, on cancer. I probably talk to three, four men a month on the telephone about prostate cancer. Sort of people think of me as connected to that.
Just did yesterday with someone, two days ago, two other people. So, it is something that I am associated with anyway. So, I don't think I am surprised anybody about it.
GIULIANI: I have been cured. And I'm very, very lucky. I got wonderful treatment.
But the reality is that my chance of success here in America is just much better than anyplace else in the world. And I am very — I'm very appreciative of that. And I don't want to see us ruin our health care system, the way I believe Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and John Edwards want to do with socialized medicine. And make no mistake about it. They want to do socialized medicine.
The chance of a man surviving prostate cancer in the United States is somewhere, when I was doing it, 82 percent, 84 percent. It's probably over 90 percent now. In socialized medicine countries, it's — some of them can be less than 50 percent, and none of them like the United States.
CAVUTO: And why is that? Because there's a delay in care?
GIULIANI: And the same thing is true, by the way — my wife will explain this to you better — in more detail than I can, because she knows all these statistics — the same thing is true of women with breast cancer.
The chances of surviving in the United States for a woman much greater than in France, or in England, or in Canada, or in Cuba, where Michael Moore would like us all to go for health care.
CAVUTO: Always a risk, you know, when you bring up your health. And kudos to you for doing that. But a lot more people are going to look at your health now again, right? People said, oh, yes, he had the prostate cancer.
GIULIANI: Well, I have been cured of it. I have had a PSA that is, I think, described as negligible now for six years, seven year. I can't remember how long it is, but it has been a long time.
So, I am — and I'm very healthy, thank goodness. I have got tremendous energy. But I also understand that all of that is more possible, my success, in essence, which is mirrored by 80 percent, 90 percent of the other men in America, has to do a lot with the American health care system that we have.
And we cannot destroy it in the effort to reform it, which is what the Democrats — the American people have to understand this. They want to destroy our health care system in order to reform it. A government- controlled health care system is a health care system that will dramatically deteriorate.
And, as one person said a while back, when they make health care free, you are going to find out how expensive it really is. And there is — they are basically pandering. It's, you know, we are going to have universal health care. It is not going to cost us anything.
Do you know what it is going to cost us? Deteriorated health care. It's going to cost us long waiting lines, like they have in Canada and in England. It's going to cost us lives, because they don't have the results that we have, and not just with cancer, with heart disease and complex heart operations.
What we want to do is create a more private health care system. We want to encourage — I want to encourage Americans to go buy their own health insurance, give them a big tax deduction to do it, give them a health savings account, let them create equity in it.
That is the way you cover the people who are not covered. You drive down the price.
CAVUTO: They say, as you know, Mayor, that poorer folks, who don't have the access, the cachet that a Rudy Giuliani does, would not be able to get the treatment you did under this system and would die.
GIULIANI: Well, actually, that is not correct. The poorest people in America are covered. They have Medicaid, Medicare.
The reality is that the people who don't have health insurance in this country are not the poorest. They are people who are consumers. But we are not making health care affordable enough for them. These are people who buy other things.
They may buy televisions. They may buy cars. They may buy cell phones. They are consumers. But the health insurance is either too expensive, or they don't see the value of it. So, how do you solve a problem like that?
Do you solve the problem like that with a socialist model, a centralized government, or do you solve it with a big consumer market? Of course you solve it in America with a big consumer market.
So, what we need are more people in that market buying their own health insurance. It will drive down the price. And, in the same way that you make retail goods and high-tech goods available to poor people by driving down the price, that is the way you're going to make health care available. And, in that way, you preserve the essential private nature of it.
If 50 million Americans were buying their own health insurance, instead of just 17 million Americans, I guarantee you, the price would go down by 50 percent, 60 percent, 70 percent, and, believe it or not, the quality would go up, because that is what happens as you have a bigger and bigger consumer market.
CAVUTO: But you have put yourself on the line here, Mayor. And I am just reminded of Paul Tsongas, who put himself on the line, and said, I'm in great health. The cancer is beaten.
We know, a few years later, of course, he died of that disease.
Believe me, we don't wish that on anyone, especially you.
CAVUTO: But do you worry that, when you open up the health books and — and — and people start demanding medical records and they want to see, all right, is he as healthy as he says he is, you know how it goes.
It's a floodgate.
GIULIANI: The reality is that what I can demonstrate is that prostate cancer is a disease now that we largely cure in America. John Kerry had prostate cancer.