Giuliani Found Distorting Truth on Abortion and Health Care

Rudy Giuliani has a hard time sticking to the truth. I’ve had posts fact-checking Giuliani many times before, and there are two new  reports this week showing how Giuliani has twisted the truth on health care and abortion.
The Los Angeles Times reports on Giuliani’s twisting of the facts on abortion and adoptions:

Striving to find the “middle ground” on abortion — that is, coming up with ways acceptable to pro-choice and pro-life Americans alike to reduce the number of abortions in the United States — is a worthwhile undertaking. But it also has given rise to some fairly resilient myths about the best way to achieve this goal.

Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani prominently featured one such myth in his speech Oct. 20 to a group of social conservatives. The former New York City mayor stated that “we increased adoption by 133% over the eight years before I came into office. And we found that abortions went down by 18% during that period of time. I believe we can do that in the United States.”

But Giuliani’s implied causality between these two statistics is unsupportable for this simple reason: The increases he cites were in the rate of adoptions of children out of New York City’s foster care system, not in the rate at which women were continuing unwanted pregnancies and placing their infants for adoption rather than having abortions. Nothing in the data he cites indicates that there was any significant increase in the city’s newborn relinquishment rate while he was mayor.

Political Radar reports on an incorrect claim from Giuliani in comparing the American system to the British system.

To hear Rudy Giuliani describe it in his new radio ad, the British medical system is a scary place.

“My chance of surviving prostate cancer — and thank God I was cured of it — in the United States: 82 percent,” Giuliani says in a new radio spot airing in New Hampshire. “My chances of surviving prostate cancer in England: Only 44 percent, under socialized medicine.”

But the data Giuliani cites comes from a single study published eight years ago by a not-for-profit group, and is contradicted by official data from the British government.

According to the United Kingdom’s Office for National Statistics, for men diagnosed with prostate cancer between 1999 and 2003, the “five-year survival rate” — a common measurement in cancer statistics — was 74.4 percent.

The statistics show that the five-year survival rate for prostate cancer victims in the UK has been steadily rising to approach the survival rate Giuliani cited for the United States.

The 74.4 percent survival rate “was 3.6 percentage points higher than the rate of 70.8 per cent for men diagnosed during 1998-2001,” according to a British government report published in August…

Don McCanne, a senior health policy fellow at Physicians for a National Health Program, conceded that the five-year survival rate for cancer diagnoses is higher in the United States than in many countries that have single-payer systems, though the disparity is not as great as Giuliani claims in his ad.

But he said that any such comparison is flawed, since it fails to take into account the additional investment in cancer education and screening in the United States. Much of the gap would be closed if other countries invested similar sums in catching cancer early.

If all Americans had access to preventive care, screenings, and treatment — through a single-payer system or another universal healthcare plan — the five-year survival rate would almost certainly be increased, since cancers would be caught sooner.

“It’s not a result of the healthcare-financing issue. That’s not what this is about at all,” McCanne said. “Under a universal system, we would increase access to preventive screening.

It should also be kept in mind that most advocates of changes in the health care system in this country are not advocating plans similar to the British system.

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