Newt Gingrich on Health Care

Last Updated : Jan 27, 2012

Summary

Congressman Gingrich has consistently spoken against the arrogance of a centralized government planning in health care. He also advocates for numerous measures to reduce government control of health care. Congressman Gingrich has stated that the government can't be trusted with a credit card, can't even give away money effectively, and government would rather pay crooks than manage efficiently.

 To address problems in Medicare and Medicaid, Congressman Gingrich advocates for cracking down on crooks that steal from the system. He supports block granting medicare and medicaid to the states, change the Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement models to take into account the quality of the care delivered, and reward health and wellness by giving health plans, employers, Medicare, and Medicaid more latitude to design benefits to encourage, incentivize, and reward healthy behaviors. He opposed the Paul Ryan plan as too big of a jump. He stated that he opposed right wing social engineering as much as left wing engineering.

Shortly after leaving Congress in 1999, Speaker Gingrich started the Gingrich Group. In 2003, that group founded a group called the Center for Health Care Transformation. That entity is dedicated to influencing government in the area of health care and touts its connections in government and its ability to get its solutions in place. Companies pay to join the group and the group gets those company's products in front of the proper politicians. This could be electronic records and data management or any number of health care related items.

The Center for Health Transformation operates by charging fees from $20,000 to $200,000 to be members. Members of the group have included drug maker Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), health insurer Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, the nation's largest insurer - WellPoint Inc. (WLP), U.K. drugmaker AstraZeneca Plc (AZN), Pfizer Inc. (PFE), and the drug industry's trade group the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). During time that this group took money from these groups, Congressman Gingrich met with current lawmakers in efforts to infleunce them to pass the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan known as Medicare Part D.

Numerous Congressman have stated that Congressman Gingrich's actions during this time were equivalent to that of a lobbyist in that he urged Congressman to vote in favor of legislation through the presentation of facts and ideology describing the package as conservative. Congressman Gingrich maintains that he has always supported Medicare Part D and that he was only acting as a citizen activist. He maintains that he has done no lobbying at any point in his career.

This group also lists a 9 step strategy that includes developing "a new system of health justice." The site describes this term as the need to restructure the lawsuit system for health care to get more of the money from litigation into the hands of the patient and out of the lawyers, and to speed up the lawsuit process.

In April of 2006, Congressman Gingrich issued a "Newt's Notes" memorandum through the Center for Health Transformation that supported the recent passage of Governor Romney's MassCare plan in Massachusetts. The statement, also claimed that it supported the goal of the program of 100% coverage. During the 2012 campaign, Congressman Gingrich has asserted numerous times that Governor Romney's plan did not work for Massachusetts and proved that Congressman Gingrich was more conservative that Governor Romney.

Up until 2009, Congressman Gingrich supported a health care plan that consisted of an individual mandate requiring people to purchase insurance coupled with the government paying subsidies to the poor so that they could purchase health insurance with that money. This plan is identical to the two core components of MassCare or RomneyCare and ObamaCare. In a 2008 speech, Congressman Gingrich proposed a plan that included an individual mandate or requiring each person to purchase a bond instead of insurance. He asserted that there were numerous people making more than $75,000 a year that were choosing not to purchase health insurance and betting that the government would pay their bills if they got into an accident or got sick. He asserted that these irresponsible people were the reason that a mandate or a bond was needed. 

On May 15, 2011, Congressman Gingrich repeated this problem and solution in an interview with Meet the Press. Reasserting that the problem was people making more than $75,000 a year refusing to purchase insurance and the solution was a mandate or bond coupled with government subsidies to the poor, Speaker Gingrich stated that he would not use Governor Romney's MassCare plan as a point of attack. The folowing day, Congressman Gingrich's campaign released a video stating that he was opposed to the Obamacare mandate, that he believed that it was unconstitutional, and that he would work to repeal it.

Since that time, Congressman Gingrich has asserted that he supported a mandate in the 1990s when the Heritage foundation proposed it in response to HillaryCare. He eluded to being against the mandate since that time when he states that he realized it was unconstitutional and unrpoductive.

Congressman Gingrich strongly opposed the 2009-2010 health care reform legislation. In numerous articles, he described the plan as a government takeover of health care and stated that the program would not create better health care or lower prices. He called upon President Obama to veto the legislation, cited the differences between the promises President Obama made and the plan itself, noted the numerous bribes involved in the legislation, and noted that it was not read by Congress prior to being voted on.

Congressman Gingrich opposes the public option and has stated that if such a program was created, then the rules would be skewed to give the public option an uneven playing field. 

As part of his 2012 Presidential run, Congressman Gingrinch has outlined the following plan:

  1. Make health insurance more affordable and portable by giving Americans the choice of a generous tax credit or the ability to deduct the value of their health insurance up to a certain amount and by allowing Americans to purchase insurance across state lines, increasing price competition in the industry.
  2. Create more choices in Medicare by giving seniors the option to choose, on a voluntary basis, a more personal system in the private sector with greater options for better care. This would create price competition to lower costs.
  3. Reform Medicaid by giving states more freedom and flexibility to customize their programs to suit their needs with a block-grant program similar to the successful welfare reform of 1996.
  4. Reward quality care by changing the Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement models to take into account the quality of the care delivered and incentivizing beneficiaries to seek out facilities that deliver the best care at the lowest costs.
  5. Reward health and wellness by giving health plans, employers, Medicare, and Medicaid more latitude to design benefits to encourage, incentivize, and reward healthy behaviors.
  6. Stop health care fraud by moving from a paper-based system to an electric one. Health care fraud accounts for as much as much as 10 percent of all health care spending, according to the National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association. That's more than $200 billion a year. Compare this to the 0.1% fraud rate in the credit card industry thanks to its high-tech information analysis systems.
  7. Stop junk lawsuits that drive up the cost of medicine with medical malpractice reform.
  8. Speed medical breakthroughs to patients by reforming the Food and Drug Administration.
  9. Inform patients and consumers of price and quality so they can make informed choices about how to spend their money on care. Patients have the right to know this information, but finding it is virtually impossible.
  10. Invest in research for health solutions that are urgent national priorities. More brain science research, for example, could lead to Alzheimer's Disease cures and treatments that could save the federal government over $20 trillion over the next forty years.

 

Medisave Acconts

On November 8, 1993 Congressman Gingrich spoke on the House floor about his support for Medisave accounts.

 

Center for Health Transformation

After leaving Congress in 1999, Speaker Gingrich founded the Gingrich Group. In 2003 this entity founded the Center for Health Transformation. That entity outlines a set of 9 steps on its website that it calls strategies. One of those strategies is a new form of health justice which isn't fully explained.

 

The Center for Health Transformation also outlines its approach in 8 points on its website. Its approach is centered around a number of business keywords that assert that the company can create plans, has the network and the people to get that plan out to the proper people in government, and the coalition to get those solutions in place.

 

Support for MassCare

Fox News has reported that Congressman Gingrich issued a statement in April of 2006 that supported the recent passage of Governor Romney's MassCare plan in Massachusetts. The statement, which was put out by the Center for Health Care Transformation, also claimed that it supported the goal of the program of 100% coverage.

 

Support for Mandates or Bonds

In 2008, Congressman Gingrich spoke at the Alegent Health Clinic in Bellevue, Nebraska. In that speech, he spoke about the social contract among Americans, and stated that there was a growing class of people that made more than $75,000 a year and chose not to have insurance. He asserted that these people were making the calculated, irresponsible decision to forgo insurance with the belief that the general population would pay for their care in the event of an accident or illness. As a solution, Congressman Gingrich asserts that the government can either enforce a mandate to require people to purchase insurance, or force everyone to purchase a bond in an amount to be determined later. Buzzfeed and TheBlaze first reported the video.

 

 

Does it Work?

In January of 2009, Congressman Gingrich wrote an article concerning the possible health care reform proposals in which he talked about what should be looked at in health care. The article notes the amount of fraud in the system could be as high as 10%. 

 

Good Morning America Interview

On June 25, 2009 Congressman Gingrich was interviewed by Good Morning America about health care. The discussion covered a public option, Medicare, and possible payment plans for medical school.

 

Three Reasons Government Can't Run Health Care

In August of 2009, Congressman Gingrich issued an article for Human Events noting three reasons why the government cannot run health care.

 

Presidential Veto

In October of 2009, Congressman Gingrich wrote an article for Human Events and noted the reasons that President Obama should veto the health care reform legislation.

 

Read the Bill

In October of 2009, Congressman Gingrich wrote an article for Human Events noting that representatives should read the bill before it is voted on.

 

Saying No

In October of 2009, Congressman Gingrich wrote an article for Human Events stating that the left had simply said no the the country's right to know what was in the health care reform legislation.

 

If Health Care Passes, We'll Repeal It

On October 19, 2009 Congressman Gingrich appeared on Fox News and stated that if health care reform passes, then it would be repealed by the Republicans.

 

Corrupt Christmas Present

In January of 2010, Congressman Gingrich wrote an article for Human Events describing the passage of health care reform as a corrupt Christmas present.

 

Kill the Bill

On March 10, 2010 Congressman Gingrich wrote an article for Human Events asking representatives in Congress to kill the health care reform bill.

 

This Will Not Stand

In March of 2010, Congressman Gingrich wrote an article for Human Events declaring that the health care reform bill will not stand.

 

Gradually Realizing the Truth

On March 25, 2010 Congressman Gingrich appeared on Fox News and spoke about the passage of health care reform legislation. He notes that people will see the gradual implementation of the bill and will not like it.

 

1,968 Reasons to Repeal

In January of 2011, Congressman Gingrich wrote an article for Human Events in which he lists numerous reasons to repeal the health care reform legislation.


 

The Arrogance of Centralized Health Care

In August of 2010 Congressman Gingrich spoke about the arrogance of a bureaucrat who believes that he can make health care decisions for hundreds of millions of people.

 

Meet the Press - Support for Mandates

On May 15, 2011, Congressman Gingrich appeared on Meet the Press and was asked about a 1993 appearance on that same show in which he advocated in favor of a system that consisted of a mandate for individuals to purchase insurance coupled with subsidies to poor people to purchase their own insurance. He then reasserts his support for a mandate or a bond requirement. The video can be seen here and was reported by TheBlaze. In the appearance, Congressman Gingrich again asserts that there is a group of people making over $75,000 that are seeking to purchase a second house instead of buying insurance and that those people need to be forced to purchase a mandate.

 

Opposition to Mandates

As part of his 2012 campaign, Speaker Gingrich made videos answering questions. One video consisted of the health care mandate question. He states that he is opposed to the mandate and that it is unconstitutional. The video was released on May 16, 2011.

New Hampshire Debate

In June of 2011, Congressman Gingrich participated in the Republican primary debate in New Hampshire. He was asked about a mandate and stated that a mandate should be a litmus test and anyone supporting it should be ruled out.

 

Western Debate

In October of 2011, Congressman Gingrich participated in the Western Debate on CNN. He was asked about his previous support for mandates and counters that it was not him, but the Heritage Foundation that was the reference cited. He refers to Governor Romney's plan in Massachussetts as another big government solution.

 

Dartmouth Debate

On October 11, 2011 Congressman Gingrich participated in the Dartmouth Economic Debate. In that debate, he was asked about health care and Medicare/Medicaid. He responds by discussing the overall effect of the government into the health care system.

 

Michigan Economic Debate

In November of 2011, Congressman Gingrich participated in the Michigan economic debate. He discussed his views on health care and discussed his plan.

 

Unleashing Growth and Innovation to Move Beyond the Welfare States

On November 21, 2011 Congressman Gingrich released his plan for social security, health care, and welfare reform. The health care section of this plan is shown below.

 

2012 Presidential Campaign Website Statements

 

 

Answering the Attacks

As part of his 2012 presidential campaign, Congressman Gingrich dedicated a page to "Answering the Attacks." On that page, Congressman Gingrich states on that page that he went along with the Heritage foundation in the 1990s when they supported a mandate instead of "HillaryCare." He states that shortly thereafter, he realized that the mandate was not counterproductive and unconstitutional.

 

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

This representative has not been identified as sponsoring or cosponsoring significant legislation related to this title.

References

[1] Website: Good Morning America Article: Newt Gingrich on Public Health Option: 'They Will Rig the Game' Author: ABC News Medical Editor Dr. Timothy Johnson Accessed on: 05/18/2011

[2] Website: Fox News Article: Gingrich Supported Romney Health Care Plan in 2006 Newsletter Author: NA - Wall Street Journal Accessed on: 01/24/2012

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