|August 19, 2005--Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich called
for a 21st Century Responsible Citizen Medicaid Act which would replace
the current "utterly hopeless" Medicaid system with three programs, a "Capabilities
Program" for Americans with disabilities and workers' compensation injuries,
a voucher program so that the poor could buy health savings accounts, and
a program to focus on healthy aging. Gingrich outlined a package
of short and long term reforms which he said would produce better outcomes
at lower costs for more people. Among the many ideas he discussed
were eliminating waste, fraud and abuse, "a Travelocity model of purchasing
drugs," electronic health records, and new innovations such as a phone
attachment that helps diabetes patients to manage their condition.
Gingrich said he was "very disappointed" in the recommendations the Department
of Health and Human Services' Medicaid Commission issued the previous day.
"Real change requires real change," he stated.