An Idea Whose Time Has Come

The lesser known proposal would encourage people to purchase insurance by giving them tax credits or deductions. Those who don’t buy insurance and need care would get it through hospitals and clinics serving the poor, which would receive subsidies not claimed by individuals.

Gingrich has “explored [the idea] and is generally supportive of it,” David Merritt, a campaign adviser, said in an interview. In March, Gingrich asked the author of the concept, conservative think tank president John Goodman, to explain it at an event sponsored by the Center for Health Transformation, a collaboration of public and private sector leaders that Gingrich founded in 2003.

Marilyn Serafini in KHN.

Comments (4)

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  1. Amber Jones says:

    The idea definitely makes sense — and it’s fair and balanced, which is much more than I can say for ObamaCare. Here is another post on this topic: (contains additional links to recent Gingrich interviews).

  2. A. Raya says:

    It levels the “paying field” and disconnects health care from employers–and, more important, untethers the payments for health care goods and services from a system in which the fix is in for providers and patients and doctors are the marks.

  3. Lewis N. says:

    There have certainly been some novel ideas on health reform to date. Ron Paul has used the strongest language against entitlements. Gingrich seems to be giving specifics on what he will do.

    Huntsman, on the other hand, has tried to appear to be the most responsible among the candidates, in his own view, but has not given enough specifics:

    “I admire Congressman Paul Ryan’s honest attempt to save Medicare. Those who disagree with his approach incur a moral responsibility to propose reforms that would ensure Medicare’s ability to meet its responsibilities to retirees without imposing an unaffordable tax burden on future generations of Americans.” — Wall Street Journal, May 31, 2011

  4. Joe says:

    Local hospital clinics and emergency rooms are the safety net for the unenrolled (in Medicaid) and uninsured (don’t qualify for Medicaid and don’t buy insurance). Maybe the hospitals would have more incentive to sign people up if they could create their own Safety Net insurance plans — and received the proportionate share of public money for those they enrolled.