By Newt Gingrich
Many of the policies in the 2010 healthcare law are unsustainable.
But the real challenge is not to point out the policies that aren’t sustainable but to replace them with policies that work. That will be a key challenge in the upcoming two years for the new Congress, particularly given the growing possibility what we may have a Republican-dominated Congress and a Democratic White House.
An all out effort over the past year by President Obama, Senate Leader Harry Reid, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to impose a radical change on the American people through their healthcare system has led to a level of government bureaucracy and confusion that is creating shock waves throughout the country. The scale of change created by the new law can be seen in two charts developed by the Center for Health Transformation. One outlines the 159 new federal offices (not counting state offices the bill will require) in the health reform bill. The chart is 3 feet by 6 feet in size. The second chart outlines the upcoming regulations through 2020 and is 50 square feet (5 feet by 10 feet). You can download both charts for free at www.healthtransformation.net or order a hard copy from the Center for Health Transformation. When you have seen these two charts you will know how big and complex the Obama healthcare reform truly is.
Politically the American people have decisively repudiated this centralized government bureaucratic approach to healthcare. According to a recent Rasmussen poll, nearly two-out-of-three Americans want the law repealed.
This is an unprecedented situation; we have never had a major reform with this much opposition after it was passed.
In a free society, the people ultimately have control over their elected leaders through the process of elections. Therefore, it is very likely that the Washington-centered, bureaucratically dominated and politician-defined healthcare law will be repealed or so decisively changed as to have the effect of repeal.
The intensity of anger between those who support the Obama plan and those who oppose it cannot be ignored. Last week, we saw just how bitter the clash of values has become when the Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius threatened to take action against private health plan companies if they continued to speak out against the new healthcare law. This only heightened Americans’ views that the Washington healthcare bureaucracy has indeed become too powerful and is using that power to silence anyone who opposes them.
The new Congress will face a big challenge in both governing and politics. If the Republicans take control, they will take steps to repeal or dramatically change Obama’s healthcare legislation. On the other hand, President Obama will use the veto to block any repeal.
The new Congress will face the challenge of moving beyond the deadlock to create positive change.
The current situation raises three questions for every citizen:
1. What should be our ultimate goal in developing a health system?
2. What, if anything, can we do together in a positive way during the next two years with a Republican Congress and a Democratic president?
3. How can we create a plan for a more effective and more citizen- and doctor-centered model for possible passage in 2013?
Fortunately, there are many encouraging developments underway across America that could be the beginning of a fundamentally better model of health and healthcare than the Washington-centered bureaucratic system led by politicians.
At the Center for Health Transformation, we talk every day with people and institutions who are working hard at innovative solutions and improvements to the system.
There are doctors, hospitals, medical systems, pharmacists, drugstores, insurance companies, employers providing health insurance, and entire communities seeking better, less expensive and more effective ways to achieve a healthier America with better outcomes, longer lives, more independent living and lower costs.
A success-based approach which scans for better ways of achieving better outcomes at lower costs will yield dramatically better change than a bureaucratic-controlled model.
Bringing together successful health innovators, health entrepreneurs and health leaders will generate much better public policy options than the politician and bureaucrat centered systems which Washington has relied on.
The need for new solutions in health is going to be enormous.
The opportunity to learn from real practitioners in the field who are making real progress dealing with people and institutions that deliver care rather than deliver red tape enables the Center for Health Transformation to grow a new generation of policies and solutions.
Over the next two years the Center will be providing a constant stream of new insights and new policy proposals driven by the people who are actually getting something done for better health, better outcomes, and lower costs.
Faced with these new challenges, the Center is developing a new mission statement which I want to share with you:
Beyond bureaucratic healthcare: The mission of the center for health transformation
The mission of the Center for Health Transformation is to:
1. Develop a new system of more effective health and healthcare by bringing together leaders in health, life sciences, information and other technologies, and entrepreneurial innovators to work with leaders of health systems and leaders in public policy and in purchasing health for employees;
2. Provide timely, accurate, and usable information about the implementation of the 2010 health reform act so leaders and managers in health systems have the best opportunities to solve problems in a time of massive governmental change;
3. Develop and popularize a clear understanding that the revolutions in the life sciences, information technology, and entrepreneurial leadership will combine to create the opportunity for a 21st Century individualized health system that brings truly personal information and care to each American while putting the decisions and the responsibilities in their hands and their doctors hands in a clearly post-bureaucratic model;
4. Provide continuing opportunities for innovators, entrepreneurs, and leaders to meet together and develop high-value solutions that yield a more desirable and more financially sustainable future.
We would love to have your ideas and your suggestions. Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your solutions for a better system to replace the Washington-centered bureaucratic model.
- Pence: Repealing healthcare reform is a mainstream GOP position (thehill.com)
- You: New Medicare chief Donald Berwick speaks out on health-care system (washingtonpost.com)
- “Morning Bell: Obamacare vs. the Rule of Law” and related posts (heritage.org)