"I wish they would only take me as I am" - Vincent Van Gogh               "How Can I believe in God when just last week I got my tounge caught in the roller of an electric typewriter?" - Woody Allen              "Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake" - Henry David Thoreau              "I took a speed reading course and read 'War and Peace' in twenty minutes. It involves Russia" - Woody Allen            "When promulgating esoteric cogitations, eschew platitudinous ponderosities" - Mark Rowan, my father            "Up, sluggard, and waste not life, for in the grave there will be sleep enough" - Benjamin Franklin             "What really interests me is whether God had any choice in the creation of the world." - Albert Einstein            "Welfare's purpose should be to eliminate, as far as possible, the need for its own existence" - Ronald Reagan            "It's odd that you can get so anesthetized by your own pain or your own problem that you don't quite fully share the hell of someone close to you." - Lady Bird Johnson              "I still want to be the candidate for guys with confederate flags in their pickup truck" - Howard Dean

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Graduate of the University of Oregon, Married for 4-1/2 years to my High School sweetheart. I am currently residing in Cleveland while I attend med school.

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    Sunday, December 10, 2006

    "The Gingrich-ization of Health Care"

    As someone who works in the medical field, and a (hopeful) future physician, Health Care is an important issue to me. Regular readers of my humble blog will recall several posts about socialized medicine in Canada and potentially California. I adamantly oppose a universal (socialized) health care system on numerous grounds. In short, I feel such a system would be costly, of poor quality, unfair to physicians, overburdened, unconstitutional, easily corruptible, etc.... I am, however, a proponent of Health Savings accounts as an option aside from traditional insurance, and was thus pleased to read the article "The Gingrich-ization of Health Care" , discussing Newt Gingrich' support for a HSA system in Georgia, despite the fact that the article is biased against the proposal.
    Georgia's Republican leaders are considering a Newt Gingrich-inspired "solution" to the state's health insurance crisis that critics say will come at the expense of those who most need relief -- the middle class and the poor.

    Gingrich's plan, the result of work by a think tank he founded that is paid for partly by health insurance companies, would set up tax breaks for businesses that offer employees a choice of personal, untaxed health savings accounts.
    Others say it's a potential health care fiasco that will discourage the working class from seeking medical care because of the costs, and drive up the premiums of those who stick with traditional health insurance.
    I disagree that HSA would hurt the middle class and poor. In fact, I think they would help them by providing a force to lower the cost of health care. When people's decisions are intimately tied to their finances (such as in a HSA), they tend to make more rational decisions. When you no longer have just a $10 copay to consider, generic drugs and excessive tests no longer seem desirable. When generic drugs get this edge, the price of name brand drugs drops, too. This is just one example, but you can see how this type of logic can be applied to much of health care.

    The fact that insurance companies-seemingly demonized in the above quote-support the proposal should tell you something about the potential effects of this system. Insurance companies' primary interest is profit, not your health. Thus, any proposal which will make them more profitable is a good proposal. Rising health care costs will not benefit insurance companies; rather, as costs fall, insurance companies will pay less for services, increasing their profit. Thus, the presumption that premiums would increase is false. Increasing premiums would represent chump-change compared to a decrease in the cost of health care.

    Health Savings accounts are certainly not for everybody, but they do represent an option that should exist for consumers. I think it is one piece of the solution to making health care more affordable for everyone, and I welcome any legislation that will make such accounts more accessible. Cheers, Newt!
    Cross Posted at California Conservative and 123Beta


    Blogger Butch said...


    I have to admit that I too, used to be 'big' on Newt.

    But some of his recent comments have turned me off.

    Like his recent comment about giving up First Amendment rights. That doesn't set well with me...

    Please feel free to change my mind...

    6:27 PM  
    Blogger The Gentle Cricket said...

    Hey Butch. I'm ambivalent on that issue. Any loss of freedom should be seriously questioned. That being said, I think his logic is sound, but it is a slippery-slope. it is illegal to yell fire in a crowded theater. Likewise, speech (such as websites) that place others in danger may need to be limited. However, I too am not so eager to afford the government carte blanche power over that.

    8:49 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Take the illegal aliens out of the system and presto/chango.

    9:21 PM  

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