Health

Newtbamacare: How The Affordable Care Act Incorporates Many Of Gingrich’s Health Care Proposals

Despite growing evidence — and video footage — that he has previously supported a national health insurance mandate, Newt Gingrich continues to characterize the Affordable Care Act as a government takeover of the health care system that he would repeal on his first day in office. But a closer look at Gingrich’s past health care proposals, his work at the Center for Health Transformation, and numerous books about health care reform, suggest that the law he seeks to repeal includes many aspects of his own health care philosophies and proposals.

As the table below demonstrates, the provisions included in President Obama’s health reform law are more progressive than Gingrich would have allowed, but they aim to expand coverage and lower health care costs in very similar ways:

Newt Gingrich Affordable Care Act
Individual Mandate “You ought to either have health insurance, or you ought to post a bond.” [Healthcare Cease Fire, 2005] Section 1501: U.S. citizens and legal residents who don’t obtain coverage by 2014, pay a tax penalty.
Group Purchasing “Large risk pools…should be established so low income people can buy insurance as inexpensively as large corporations.” [Winning The Future, 2005] Section 1321: States establish health insurance exchanges to allow individuals, families, and small businesses to harness the purchasing power of large employers.
Subsidies “Some aspect of the working poor has to involve transfer of finances. To ask people in the lowest paying jobs to bear the full burden of their health insurance is just irrational.” [Healthcare Cease Fire, 2005] Section 1401: Families with incomes between 133-400% of the federal poverty line will receive premium credits to purchase insurance through the Exchanges.
Comparative Effectiveness Research “A health care system that is driven by robust comparative clinical evidence will save lives and money.” [NYT, 2008] Section 6302: Establishes a non-profit Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to identify research priorities and conduct research that compares the clinical effectiveness of medical treatments.
Improving Quality “Don Berwick at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement has worked for years to spread the word that the same systematic approach to quality control that has worked so well in manufacturing could create a dramatically safer, less expensive and more effective system of health and health care.” [Washington Post, 2000] TITLE X: Improves health care quality through numerous provisions, including the innovation of payment reform models and rewarding providers who deliver quality care.
Prevention “The 21st Century System of Health and Healthcare will partner with you first to prevent illness and then to care for you as a patient if you become ill.” [Saving Lives & Saving Money, 2006] TITLE IV: Prevention services will be available without additional cost-sharing and the law establishes a Prevention and Public Health Fund.
Health Information Technology (HIT) Going to a paperless all-electronic system is going to save lives, it’s going to save money, it’s going to lead to better outcomes, it’s going to give us new opportunities.” [Paper Kills, 2007] The stimulus act invested in HIT and the ACA requires the government to develop standards “that facilitate electronic enrollment of individuals in Federal and State health and human services programs.”
Fraud “First, we must dramatically reduce healthcare fraud within our current healthcare system.” [Stop Paying The Crooks, 2009] The federal government has “more than tripled the amount of money it has recovered” in the past six years form fraud and the ACA includes numerous anti-fraud provisions from increasing the federal sentencing guidelines for health care fraud to appropriating an additional $350 million over 10 years to ramp up anti-fraud efforts.