10 GOP Ideas for Health Care Reform

Newt Gingrich, John Goodman answer Obama's challenge
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 10, 2010 7:54 AM CST
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks at a Republican congressional fundraiser in Washington last year.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

(Newser) – Newt Gingrich and economist John C. Goodman have responded to President Obama's challenge for Republicans to show him a better idea on health care reform with 10 ideas. Here's what they list in the Wall Street Journal.

  • Make insurance affordable. This could be done by reforming the "arbitrary and unfair" taxation on health insurance.
  • Make health insurance portable. Employers should give employees insurance that can be brought from job to job, and people should be able to buy insurance across state lines.
  • Meet the needs of the chronically ill. Help them take charge of their own care with Health Savings Accounts.

  • Allow doctors and patients to control costs. Doctors and patients should be liberated from government-imposed payment rates that reward physicians for treating the sick but not for keeping healthy people healthy.
  • Don't cut Medicare. Medicare's on an unsustainable course, but the $500 billion in cuts the Democrats propose are not the answer.
  • Protect early retirees. A bridge to Medicare can and should be built to help the millions who retire before they qualify.
  • Inform consumers. Government data on cost and quality should be made public.
  • Eliminate junk lawsuits. "We do not need to study or test medical malpractice any longer," Gingrich and Goodman write, pointing to Texas' liability protection efforts as a model.
  • Stop health care fraud. Approaches including third-party liability verification, and electronic payment can help cut the $120 billion lost to fraud every year,
  • Make medical breakthroughs accessible to patients. Red tape should be cut to get new drugs and treatments to patients faster.

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