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Newt Gingrich To Detail His Health Care Reform Plan in March

by Fred Fortin

In an “E-Alert” put out by his Center for Health Transformation today, Newt promises a detailed plan for health care reform by March 2008. The plan, as summarized in an attached op-ed he wrote for the Des Moines Register this past June, emphasizes four main points:

  • Individuals must take an active role in becoming healthier.
  • We must create a culture of health that leads to responsible choices.
  • We must dramatically improve and modernize the way we deliver care.
  • We must radically change the way we finance health insurance and health care.

He supports mandating individuals to purchase health insurance but with the caveat that it “is an acceptable option only when the larger health-care system has been fundamentally changed. It is unjust to require an individual to buy into a broken and dysfunctional system.” Well, this sounds like never, but a good point.

He’s also solidly behind Health Savings Accounts and moving from a transaction based medical fee system to one based on health outcomes. So he should have many friends in some sectors of the health policy community.

Newt does want a national market in health insurance. “Consumers should have the right to purchase a health-insurance policy from anywhere in the country, creating a truly competitive, national market.” On this point he’s in line with the Wall Street Journal, and McCain’s health reform plan, among others. I’ve argued against this notion primarily because it would feed already large corporate entities already trying to dominate the insurance market and continue to marginalize local control and input on health care. There’s also nothing inherent in national competition that would reduce the cost of health care benefits. Size only matters when it comes to bullies. And we need less, not more of them when it comes to health care.


2 Comments »

[…] my complete post over at the World Health Care Blog. Posted in Healthcare, WorldHealthCareBlog. Tags: health care, […]

  Ron Bachman wrote @ January 6th, 2008 at 9:27 am

Newt has it right, The solution is to create a system that minimizes third party reimbursement, empowers the indivdual with information, increases the use of technology, and rewards behavior change. The basis for Newt’s 21st Century Inteligent Health System is Healthcare Consumerism.

Consumerism: The Basis for a 21st Century Intelligent Health System

CHT Senior Fellow Ron Bachman discusses consumerism and how market-based solutions can lead to better health at lower cost. While the presentation is primarily targeted to employers, it is helpful to anyone seeking to understand how consumerism can lead to a better health system, where the individual has more choices of higher quality at lower overall cost. watch video >>

http://healthtransformation.net/cs/healthcare_consumerism_video

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