Gingrich Recommends Reforms To Address Disparities in Medicaid
"Medicaid's archaic, anti-patient structure is not the sole cause of racial health disparities in America," but the program "is clearly not living up to its potential in closing the deeply troublesome gaps," former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), founder of the Center for Health Transformation, and James Frogue, project director for the State Project and Medicaid Transformation Project at the center, write in an Atlanta Journal-Constitution opinion piece. "Medicaid's heavily bureaucratic structure is biased in favor of a rigid status quo and against the kind of innovation that can more quickly improve patient care," according to Gingrich and Frogue. They add that "a few trailblazing governors" should have the ability to "opt in to a new Medicaid system that cuts them loose from federal hand-holding and stifling red tape." In exchange, "willing governors would agree to a defined contribution of federal funds ... that increases every year at an amount below their recent growth trend." Gingrich and Frogue write that "the federal government would audit states based on demonstrated improvements in health outcomes, childhood immunizations or a closing of the gap in racial health disparities" (Gingrich/Frogue, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 4/7).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.