This morning's Washington Post had an interesting op-ed by Newt Gingrich. "Transform It, Don't Reform It" (2 March, 2005. A17) gave an outline of Dr. Gingrich's opinion of the problems and possible solutions to the Medicaid problem. Historically I have vehemently disagreed with most things Newt Gingrich has proclaimed, but I do agree with many of his ideas put forth in this op-ed. In fact, I agree with a lot of what Newt Gingrich has to say about health care technologies. Last year I was at a Congressional hearing on Health Information Technology and I was stunned by his testimony - but in a very good way.
The gist of the piece discusses how Medicaid needs to reach a very diverse set of beneficiaries, and it needs different rules and operating procedures to deal with the different groups. Some of those changes include modernizing the system to maximize the efficiencies offered by new technologies. Medicaid needs to crawl out from under the paperwork and the bureaucracy and start doing its job - improving the health of the poor, the disabled poor, and the elderly poor.