Saturday, December 17, 2011

Gingrich on Health Reform

It is not enough to have a good mind. The main thing is to use it well.

Descarte (1596-1650)

One man who has a mind and knows it can always beat men who haven’t and don’t.

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

December 17, 2011 - When I think of Newt Gingrich, I think of a mind at work and at play. He has a good mind, even a grandiose mind, and he is always playing around with new ideas. He has a mind rich in experience,brimming with political anecdotes and historical lore.

But, say critics, it is a fickle and opportunistic mind. Six years ago, he was for the individual mandate, now he is against it. Now he is backing off his support of electronic records.

Some say these changes of position represent grandiosity, even pomposity, but Gingrich supports say these shifts speaks more of virtuosity. Gingrich can, admirers say, out-think and out-talk other politicians in tense situations, like debates.

On some issues – like electronic medical records and a comparative effrectiveness research – Gingrich claims he is steadfast. Data, he opines, enriches the mind, expands mental horizons, and corrects biases.

Of Obama's stimulus package of $787 billion in 2009, with $27 billion targeted for EHRs, Gingrich told the New York Times that same year, “The president should be applauded for making this a vital priority and a key part of his economic stimulus package.” Today Gingrich is against Obamacare.

Of EHRs, Gingrich declared, “A Republican Congress that’s serious will pass an electronic records for every American.”

In Human Events, he wrote, “In our country the road to humanity begins with something called comparative effectiveness research.”

Of his backing of EHRs and comparative effectiveness research,Gingrich asserted, “Initially, they’ll be rejected. Let’s be clear: This is not a city that likes innovation. It’s not a city that likes to think deeply. It’s a city that memorizes a handful of phrases and uses them in nine sound bites.”

Now there’s a man who knows how to pose as a Washington outsider, while making his fortune through insider contacts. Gingrich collected consulting fees at the Center for Health Transformation, which he founded, by serving as spokesperson for clients like Siemens, GE Healthcare, Allscripts, MedAffinity, and Microsoft and other firms selling, developing, or pushing EHRs.

Gingrich a man who knows his own mind. He reserves the right to change his mind, depending on new knowledge. Flip-flopping, changing one'v view in the fact of new information, can also be interpreted as the mark of a mature mind.

Tweet: As a presidential candidate, Newt Gingrich has an on and off record of support for EHRs.


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