Did Newt Gingrich just endorse Obamacare?

May 16, 2011

So wasn’t opposing health care reform — the dreaded Obamacare plan signed into law last year — supposed to be the rallying cry of all good Republicans seeking to oust President Obama?

Funny thing happened on the way to the White House. First it was Mitt Romney who had to explain how the plan he championed in Massachusetts (and upon which the reform law was based) and its requirement that people buy health insurance was altogether different (although it isn’t).

Enter newly-announced candidate Newt Gingrich who said Sunday he thinks all Americans should be required to buy health insurance, too. And furthermore, he’s opposed to Rep. Paul Ryan’s proposal to privatize Medicare for Americans below age 55 and labeled it “radical.”

At least the former House speaker is consistent. He said much the same thing back in the early 1990s when he thought Americans should be required to buy health insurance just as they must buy car insurance to drive. Back then it was actually a Republican idea.

As fast as Republicans are running away from Mr. Ryan’s reforms, we might yet see other candidates hop on the insurance mandate, the central tenant of President Obama’s health care reforms, too. As Mr. Gingrich explained, those who are uncomfortable with the insurance mandate had better come up with an alternative that’s just as effective.

Good luck with that.

--Peter Jensen

UPDATE: Looks like we spoke too soon. Newt is out with a video repudiating (or maybe refudiating) his earlier comments on Meet the Press.

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.