Tags: Barack Obama | | Editor's Pick | Ohio | Kasich | Republican | governors

Ohio Gov. Kasich: Pay Doctors for Results, Not Workload

By    |   Thursday, 01 Dec 2011 02:14 PM

Doctors should be rewarded for their results and not by the number of people they treat, Ohio Gov. John Kasich tells Newsmax.TV.

“How many people can you get through the door is not the way we ought to be doing it,” Kasich said during the exclusive interview. “We ought to be paying people on the basis of the fact that you get better outcomes if people are healthier.

Ohio already is working on the revolutionary plan, the governor said. “We are working with the private sector who are trying to get innovation in terms of keeping people healthier and we want to leverage our dollars from Medicaid with private sector companies to get this done.”

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Kasich was interviewed during the Republican Governors Association conference in Orlando, Fla., where the cost of President Barack Obama’s healthcare plan was at the forefront of participants’ minds.

“There is a major healthcare problem in this country,” said Kasich, who took over in Columbus in January. “But leaving it to a bunch of folks in Washington to fix — that’s not very, very wise. We can begin to make changes in our own state and we have.”

One of those changes is to allow more infirm, elderly people to stay in their own homes, which he said the nursing home industry has fought for 30 years.

“We were able to defeat that lobby and say, ‘If you need to be in a nursing home, you can be in one, but, in fact, if you can stay at home for a fifth of the cost and be more independent and healthier and happier, you should be able to do that.’

“That was praised by the AARP, they really believe in home and community healthcare, which is great.

“We also know that a relatively small portion of the population, 4 or 5 percent, drives over 50 percent of the cost. So if you focus on them, instead of their getting their primary care in the emergency room and you get them in the right setting, you not only get a healthier person but you also save a lot of money. So it’s just thinking differently.”

GOP governors have to demand that the states run Medicaid, Kasich said. “We should, as a group, pinpoint and focus on asking — or demanding — that the federal government give us the ability to run Medicaid in the way in which we can serve more people more effectively at lower cost.”

But “Washington’s always reluctant to let go” of any power, he said. “We don’t want to take Medicaid money and use it to pave roads, we want to use Medicaid money to treat people who are poor and in need of healthcare, but all these rules they pile on cost a lot of money and don’t allow us to run an effective program as we would like to run.

“So ‘Let Our People Go’ is my message to Washington when it comes to Medicaid.”

Kasich acknowledged that he was defeated soundly when Ohioans threw out his attempt to curtail union rights in a referendum last month. When asked why, he simply said “People didn’t like it, and that’s OK.

“We do many, many things. Sometimes you win — we were able to pass a budget, eliminate an $8 billion budget deficit, cut taxes, privatize our development department, change our prison system, improve our education system with a lot of vouchers and get all that done. So sometimes you just don’t get everything done you want, and that’s OK. There’s lessons to be learned.”

Instead of reflecting on that vote, he said he is “on to 15 other things,” one of which is developing gas production from the shale plate in the east of his state. It is necessary to get the right environmental protection regulations in place without putting unnecessary burdens on the industry, he said.

“They had enormous problems in New York,” he said. “They’ve had problems in Pennsylvania. We want to make sure Ohio gets it right.”

And getting it right will put more Ohioans to work, he said, pointing out that the state has gained 40,000 jobs since January. “We lost 400,000 jobs in the last four years, now we’re up 40,000. Of course those numbers can fluctuate but we think we are headed in the right direction.”

And that is one reason why he is determined not to raise taxes. “That’s not just for ideological reasons; it’s common sense,” he said. “If I drive up the cost of doing business in Ohio, we’ll lose business and if I can do everything I can to lower the cost of doing business in Ohio, we’ll do more business.

“So raising taxes is not an option for me,” he said, adding that income tax has been lowered and the death tax killed off on his watch.

Kasich, a nine-term member of the U.S. House who resigned in 2001 to consider a run for the White House, was coy about whether he still has ambitions outside of Ohio.

“I actually do have ambitions beyond the Ohio border. When I’m done with this job I want to spend a little more time down here where it’s warm in Florida,” he said jokingly. Turning serious, he added, “I have no ambitions beyond being a good governor and getting our state economically turned around.

“I intend to do this job as long as it takes to get Ohio on a better path and then, who knows?”

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Doctors should be rewarded for their results and not by the number of people they treat, Ohio Gov. John Kasich tells Newsmax.TV. How many people can you get through the door is not the way we ought to be doing it, Kasich said during the exclusive interview. We ought to...
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