Mike Bloomberg on Health Care
Mayor of New York City (Independent)
BLOOMBERG: No. Number one, he fired the pandemic team two years ago. Number two, he's been defunding Centers for Disease Control. So, we don't have the experts in place that we need. I hope he's right that the virus doesn't come here, that nobody gets sick. But the bottom line is, we are not ready for this kind of thing. And the president doesn't seem to believe in science. We are as exposed to this kind of thing as we have ever been, probably more so.
Q: What would you do if you were president right now?
BLOOMBERG: You have to marshal the teams. Unfortunately, he doesn't have a team in place. I can tell you what we did in City Hall back in New York. For Hurricane Sandy, for 9/11, for the swine flu--we were ready for it, in the sense that we had played out what would happen, how we would communicate with people, how we would distribute drugs, how we would include the hospitals & the nurses.
BLOOMBERG: Well, we have a mental health problem in the country, in that an awful lot of insurance plans don't cover mental health. And they should. I can't speak for everybody [but] in my company, we have 20,000 employees, and there's different health care plans around the world. But, in America, we certainly provide mental health assistance.
Q: Second Amendment rights advocates are afraid, obviously, that you will take away their guns, claiming that mental health is the real issue.
BLOOMBERG: It's true that, if you take a gun and shoot somebody, you probably needed mental health counseling or something. It's not a normal thing to do.
"When you listen to them talk at a federal level, 'I'm going to cut the deficit.' You know, every new group that comes through--keep in mind 2/3 of the federal budget is entitlements and debt service. Debt Service legally, you can't touch, entitlements means seniors. We're going to cut back Medicaid and Medicare, we're going to have to do something, but that's going to be a very tough lift," Bloomberg said.
BLOOMBERG: I think what's right for New York City isn't necessarily right for all the other cities. But I do think it's the government's job to explain to people what science says on how to extend their lives. There are too many people that are obese. We should do something about that. But just a look what happened with smoking. We did ban smoking in NYC in public places, restaurants, offices, and that sort of thing. And it has spread across America, across Europe, across Latin America.
Q: Are New Yorkers living longer because of your policies?
BLOOMBERG: Before I left, life expectancy in New York City had grown by three years during our 12 years in office such that, when I left, it was three years greater than the national average.
BLOOMBERG: I am a fan of ObamaCare.
BIDEN: Since when, Mr. Mayor?
BLOOMBERG: I just checked the record, because you'd said one time that I was not. In '09, I testified and gave a speech before the mayors' conference in Washington advocating it and trying to get all the mayors to sign on. And at that time I wrote an article praising ObamaCare.
BIDEN: Didn't you call it "a disgrace," though, Mr. Mayor?
BLOOMBERG: I was in favor of it. I thought it didn't go as far as we should. What Trump has done to this is a disgrace. The first thing we've got to do is get the White House and bring back those things that were left and then find a way to expand it, another public option, to having some rules about capping charges. All of those things. We shouldn't just walk away and start something that is totally new & untried.
BIDEN: The mayor said, when we passed it, "it's a disgrace." They're the exact words. Look it up.
Mike will limit each new drug to a single patent lasting 20 years. This will speed up the time it takes for cheaper generic drugs to come on the market. The federal government makes enormous investments in drug research. Mike will make sure drug companies pay royalties to the government on any new drug that's developed via federally-funded research. This revenue could be used to lower drug prices in Medicare (Part D) or fund new research.
Mike will create a Medicare-like public option--a health plan that will be administered by the federal government but paid for by customer premiums. He will improve consumer choice and increase competition in the private insurance market, pushing down premiums for all. His plan will allow people of modest means who buy the public option to be eligible for the same subsidies that would apply on the health insurance exchanges.
The billionaire slammed a Medicare-for-All proposal floated by 2020 candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), saying the country could "never afford" replacing the employer-offered health care system in its entirety.
The Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democrat supports Medicare for those without health insurance, but he does not want to do away with the employer-provided model.
Bloomberg said, "I'm a little bit tired of listening to things are pie in the sky, that we never are going to pass, are never going to afford. I think it's just disingenuous to promote those things. You've got to do something that's practical."
BLOOMBERG: We're certainly appealing. We think the judge was just clearly wrong on this. Our department of health has the legal ability to do this. And we're not banning anything. All we're saying is, we want to show you just how big the cup is. If you want 32 ounces, take two cups to your seat. If you want 64, carry four. But our hope is, if you only take one, you won't go back.
Q: So haven't you even won in losing, though? Wasn't this really about public awareness?
BLOOMBERG: Obesity this year is going to kill more people in New York City than smoking.
BLOOMBERG: That's ridiculous. Starbucks knows how to package things. They can change instantly when it's in their interest to do so. This is in the country's interest. This year, for the first time in the history of the world, more people will die from too much food than from too little food. More people will die from the effects of obesity than from starvation. And we've got to do something about this. This is going to bankrupt the country. Our medical system cannot handle it. Being overweight has gone from a rich person's disease to a poor person's disease. We've just got to do something. And all we're doing in NYC is reminding you that it's not in your interest to have too many empty calories. You can have some. If you want to have 32 ounces, just buy two 16-ounce cups. We're not banning anything. it's called portion control.
Bloomberg's obsessive search for privacy produces frequent disappearances when he is not campaigning for office. None of them ever announced--a privilege the president of the US does not enjoy.
By 2009, Bloomberg's cumulative contributions to Johns Hopkins had topped $500 million. His central focus at Hopkins is the celebrated School of Public Health that bears his name. He was drawn to public health because others were not. "Mike's a contrarian," says the university's president. "He gives to projects other people don't. He recognized the importance of public health before anyone else did. They don't realize they are living because they didn't get polio or smallpox or whatever. Mike understood that. He thinks in terms of how to move the needle, how to make a difference."
This year, we will raise the quality of food served in every City agency--that’s nearly 1.5 million meals every single day of the year. We’ll also continue opening parks and playgrounds in every neighborhood, so that every New Yorker has no more than a 10-minute walk to enjoy them.
That’s why in NYC, not only have we dramatically increased health insurance coverage; we’re moving toward a ‘pay-for-prevention’ system of health-care that rewards primary care doctors who succeed in keeping people out of hospitals. A key step in doing this is providing prevention-oriented electronic health records to help doctors deliver better preventive care.
These records can also enable private insurers, as well as Medicaid and Medicare, to hold doctors accountable for their patients’ performance--and to pay more to the doctors who keep their patients healthy.
Bloomberg extended New York City’s smoking ban to all commercial establishments, including bars and nightclubs. In Dec. 2006, New York became the first city in the US to ban trans-fat from all restaurants. It will go into effect in July of 2008.
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V.P.Mike Pence (R-IN)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
CEO Don Blankenship (Constitution-WV)
CEO Rocky De La Fuente (R-CA)
Howie Hawkins (Green-NY)
Jo Jorgensen (Libertarian-IL)
Gloria La Riva (Socialist-CA)
Kanye West (Birthday-CA)
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Gov.Lincoln Chafee (Libertarian-RI)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Zoltan Istvan (Libertarian-CA)
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Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Ian Schlackman (Green-MD)
CEO Howard Schultz (Independent-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (Green-MN)
V.C.Arvin Vohra (Libertarian-MD)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld (Libertarian-NY,R-MA)
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State Rep.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D-GA)
Rep.Val Demings (D-FL)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Maggie Hassan (D-NH)
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Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Gov.Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI)
A.G.Sally Yates (D-GA)
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2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)