By Maria Saporta
Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich is not against health reform.
In fact, he told the Rotary Club of Atlanta today that health reform is necessary.
“What I’m opposed to in any health reform in this economy that will mean a tax increase,” Gingrich said. He then added that the bill that is in the House of Representatives today “will kill jobs.”
Gingrich has been working on healthcare reform for years through his Center for Health Transformation. As Gingrich describes it, the center is advocating for a 21st Century personalized intelligent health system.
He then shared his six-point plan.
1. Stop paying the crooks. He said that $70 billion to $120 billion in medical funding is going from the federal government to people who are not delivering the care.
2. Have an electronic health system that would help eliminate fraud and costly medical errors.
3. Provide tax reform so that small businesses and the self-employed wouldn’t have to pay as much in taxes.
4. Create a health-based system that works on improving the wellness of individuals.
5. Reform the health justice system by to discourage a fear of malpractice claims becoming a reason why physicians don’t provide treatment.
6. Invest in scientific research and breakthroughs. Gingrich said he believes the federal government needs to invest more in cutting-edge research to reduce the occurrence and improve the treatment of various diseases, such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
Gingrich reiterated his belief that the solution is not having a health care system that’s run by “big government” and a “big bureaucracy.”
In looking to the nation’s economic future, Gingrich said the prognosis isn’t good. He said that the Federal Reserve Bank estimates that unemployment will continue to be between 8 and 10 percent for the next five years, a fact that hasn’t been widely reported.
“It didn’t fit into the media’s happy talk,” Gingrich said.
Asked about how the economy and health reform legislation would impact plans for the mid-term election in 2010, Gingrich said that campaigns for 2010 began “the day after the election.”
Of course, Gingrich has been widely talked about as a potential Republican presidential candidate. Although he never referred to a presidential campaign directly, Gingrich made it clear he plans to stay engaged on national public policy issues.