Gingrich Health-care Think Tank Raked in $37 Million
A think tank founded by GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich collected at least $37 million over the past eight years from major health-care companies and industry groups, offering special access to the former House speaker and other perks, according to records and interviews.
The Center for Health Transformation, which opened in 2003, brought in dues of as much as $200,000 per year from insurers and other health-care firms, offering some of them “access to Newt Gingrich” and “direct Newt interaction,” according to promotional materials. The biggest funders, including firms such as AstraZeneca, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Novo Nordisk, were also eligible to receive discounts on “products and workshops” from other Gingrich groups.
The health center advocated, among other things, requiring that “anyone who earns more than $50,000 a year must purchase health insurance or post a bond,” a type of insurance mandate that has since become anathema to conservatives.The problem with Republicans is that they fail to hold their elected leaders accountable and they also have a high level of trust in the GOP, its leaders and elected officials. It's the responsibility of the Republican voting base to know what Republicans actually do. Republicans are notorious for talking the talk and never walking the walk.
Still, Obamacare won't solve our healthcare nightmare. Rather than Republicans and Democrats constantly playing the blame game with each other, America needs leadership that will solve some of our big problems, including heathcare.
Medicare and Medicaid is costing us about $1 trillion annually, or nearly half of the $2.2 trillion or so collected in federal taxes.
Medicare and Medicaid spending rose 10% in the second quarter from a year earlier to a combined annual rate of almost $992 billion, according to new data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The two programs are on track to rise $90 billion in 2011 and crack the $1 trillion milestone for the first time.
Medicare. The insurance program for the elderly and disabled grew 8.3% from a year earlier to a $554 billion annual rate in the past three months, the BEA reports. Enrollment will grow from 49 million today to 60 million in 2018.
Medicaid. The federal-state cost of medical care for the poor and nursing homes for the elderly rose 12.3% to a $438 billion annual rate. The expiration of the stimulus law will cut the federal share of the program from about 70% to 60% in the last half of this year, shifting about $40 billion in annual costs back to the states.
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