Newt Gingrich Claims You’re Better Off Being Uninsured Than On Medicaid

From Newt Gingrich’s August 9, 2012, appearance on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal:

NEWT GINGRICH: The key difference is no corporation, including federal employees, is big enough to control medicine in America. You have a very wide range of choices. And if you look at the Federal Employee Health Benefit Act, it’s actually a good model for thinking about how to have a large number of choices. What worries those of us who have looked at various national health systems is putting power in the hands of bureaucrats so that they start making decisions. For example, should—There’s a recent argument about whether or not you should have a particular test for men that relates to prostate cancer. One of the leading experts on prostate cancer in America said this government bureaucratic decision made by a committee that had no cancer expert on it, had no prostate expert on it, this decision sounded good in theory but in fact would lead to the premature death of 10 to 15 percent of the men who get prostate cancer. So I want to stick with you having the right, and your doctor having the right, to practice appropriate medicine for you, and then I want to find ways to maximize the number of people who have health insurance. But if you look at Medicaid, which has been a government-run program, there aren’t many people who will voluntarily get on Medicaid and there have been studies that indicate that the uninsured have better health outcomes than the people on Medicaid because Medicaid tends to be so badly run.