If President Barack Obama wants healthcare reform this year, hes going to have to be flexible and accept half a loaf on certain issues, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, founder of the for-profit consultancy Center for Health Transformation, said during a panel discussion sponsored by Volunteers of America.
Congress and the administration will get nothing if they approach reform with an all-or-nothing attitude, he added. Gingrich acknowledged that the reform effort could get locked up by various demands, and possible push back from hospitals and doctors. Any healthcare-reform effort should emphasize wellness and best practices to eliminate waste from the system, Gingrich said, adding that he was in favor of 100% coveragebut not a single-payer government system.
Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, who had been nominated for HHS secretary, was not as optimistic about the chances of getting a bill through Congress. Cost, quality and access issues remain, and so little attention has been given to long-term care in this debate, said Daschle, who gave legislation a 50-50 chance of getting approved.