Newt’s Center For Health Transformation Plan Has Failed in Georgia

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An interesting little article popped up in my email today, a report from The Center For Budget and Policy Priorities. It was one of those little gems where the title screams, “You WILL read me now”, so I did. Here’s the Headline:

“Georgia’s Tax Breaks to Increase Use of Health Savings Accounts Did Not Expand Health Coverage –  Plan Promoted by Gingrich Group Has Failed to Deliver”

And the first two paragraphs:

“New data show that an approach to covering the uninsured that Newt Gingrich’s Center for Health Transformation (CHT) largely designed and heavily promoted to Georgia policymakers — and that Georgia adopted in 2008 — has failed to produce the promised results.

The Georgia plan features multiple tax breaks to expand the use of Health Savings Accounts tied to high-deductible insurance plans. CHT claimed it would reduce the number of uninsured Georgians dramatically, but instead, the percentage of Georgians without insurance has substantially increased. In fact, since the law’s enactment, the ranks of the insured have risen more rapidly in Georgia than in the rest of the South and in the nation as a whole.”

This Health Savings Plan idea is being promoted by all four GOP candidates one of which, Rick Santorum, even referred to himself in a South Carolina debate as, (via the L.A. Times)

 “the author of health savings accounts”

Not to be outdone, Gingrich countered saying,

 “…he was confident in his ability to debate Obama over healthcare, citing his work helping Santorum push health savings accounts in Congress, the book he wrote and his healthcare think tank.”

(my emphasis)

In Georgia’s little experiment, America has a living, breathing model of the plan being pushed by the Republicans, and it’s a living, breathing failure; reason being, it was a program based on the same conservative formula they’ve used for decades: if the rich don’t need it, and the rest can’t afford it, it’s perfect.

Of course, Newt will probably claim that his only involvement was that of a medical historian, ala Fannie and Freddie, but it’s a little tougher this time around because it’s his own company.

Non-Republicans are often parodied as “thinking too much” about things, silly us. In contrast, rank and file Republicans’ brains literally begin to smoke after five minutes of original thought, which is why I’m sure the candidates and the GOP will find some easy to remember mantra to gloss over the inconvenient facts about the Georgia failure; secure in the knowledge that their constituency will not attempt to educate themselves.

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