Is a new health care proposal by Newt Gingrich and John Goodman worth considering? Here are the highlights.
(Gingrich is former speaker of the House and founder of the Center for Health Transformation, and Goodman is president of the National Center for Policy Analysis).
• Allow people a generous tax credit or let them deduct the value of their health insurance up to a certain amount.
• Encourage employers to provide portable insurance, and allow individuals to purchase insurance across state lines.
• Allow those with chronic diseases to manage health dollars in health savings accounts, and use Medicaid's Cash and Counseling program for the homebound disabled as a model.
• Encourage some health plans to specialize in managing chronic diseases.
• As long as total cost to the government does not rise and quality of care does not suffer, doctors should be free to repackage and reprice services.
• Don't cut Medicare.
• Allow employers to obtain individually owned insurance for retirees at group rates and to deposit premiums for post-retirement insurance into HSAs. Employers and younger employees could save tax-free for post-retirement health.
• Make anonymous Medicare claims and other government data available to consumers.
• Eliminate junk lawsuits.
• Use enhanced coordination of benefits, third-party liability verification and electronic payment to stop health care fraud.
• Cut red tape before and during review by the FDA and monitor the quality of drugs and devices once they reach market.