Gingrich: Create a 'Healthcare Network Authority' to oversee system

A new "Healthcare Network Authority" could be necessary to oversee the healthcare system and compel healthy behavior, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) argued Wednesday.

Appearing before a Michigan state Senate committee, Gingrich emphasized the need for healthcare companies to have more latitude to reward healthy behavior -- or, alternatively, punish unhealthy behavior.

In his appearance, Gingrich called for the establishment of a "Healthcare Network Authority" that would "administer regulations, define standards, settle financial accounts, arbitrate discrepancies and assess fines and penalties within the legislative framework that places the importance of the Healthcare System above any Participant or groups of Participants."

Gingrich told Michigan lawmakers that reforming healthcare in that state would need to focus on curbing unhealthy behavior like smoking or encouraging mandatory exercise for children, according to the Detroit Free Press.

According to a prepared handout by Gingrich, such an authority "would use reimbursement rates, pricing, penalties and/or payment terms to incent Participant behavior for not only compliance but to continually enhance and enrich the Network to identify and tackle new forms of fraud, waste, abuse and administrative cost."