Gingrich to Republicans: Fight against Medicare attacks
May 25th, 2011
01:50 PM ET
4 years ago

Gingrich to Republicans: Fight against Medicare attacks

Washington (CNN) – Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich encouraged Congressional Republicans Wednesday to fight for the Republican Medicare proposal, despite his past criticism of the plan and the Republican loss in Tuesday's New York special election that became a referendum on the proposal.

"Saving Medicare so it is affordable with no government rationing of healthcare for seniors is the new GOP litmus test," Gingrich wrote in a letter to House and Senate Republicans. "Republicans are working to preserve a doctor-patient relationship and access to care for all seniors."

The 2012 presidential candidate said this is the third time in his career Democrats have unsuccessfully used Medicare to attack the GOP, adding that Republicans need to "stand firm against these attacks."

"The lessons of 1980 and 1995-96 are clear," Gingrich wrote, referencing the Republican electoral victories in those cycles. "The Democrats' Mediscare big lie campaign will inevitably collapse if we cheerfully insist on telling the truth."

Gingrich's apparent endorsement comes after a very public back-and-forth with House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan. He originally criticized the plan publically, only to later backtrack on his comments and apologize to the Wisconsin Republican.

Under the plan originally put forward by Ryan, the government would no longer directly pay bills for senior citizens in the program. Instead, recipients would choose from a list of private insurance providers, which the federal government would subsidize.

Democrats warn the move would threaten the health care security enjoyed by older Americans and have pledged to make the GOP plan a focal point of their campaign efforts in the lead-up to the 2012 election.

Medicare was a key issue in Tuesday's special election to fill the Congressional seat in New York's 26th district, in which CNN projected a win for Democrat Kathy Hochul.

Hochul and Republican Jane Corwin attacked each other over the issue while both political parties and outside groups flooded the market with ads over the reform plan.

But the day after the election, Gingrich told GOP members to think of this time as "'Medicare 3,' a bad sequel to two bad failures."

"Paul Ryan and the House Republicans are trying to save Medicare in a period of enormous economic and fiscal difficulties," Gingrich wrote. "We need to be bold and offer real solutions that improve Medicare so we can preserve it for future generations."

– CNN's Alan Silverleib contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Congress • House • Medicare • Newt Gingrich • Senate
soundoff (56 Responses)
  1. MarineWill

    Seriously? Is this your position this week, seriously?

    May 25, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Breaking News:
    The Republican Party is trying to spin the overreaching attempt to privatize Medicare has just a way to begin a discussion on the how to save Medicare. Nope, don't believe it for a minute. Newt made the mistake of telling the truth when he called the Ryan Plan "right wing social engineering." Privatization is still the goal for all entitlements, and then they will ask the question, "Why is the goverment paying for this?"

    May 25, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  3. IKE

    Newt, the flip flopper.

    May 25, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  4. Laverne

    This guy just called it right wing social engineering and now think we have forgot what he said. This is why Newt would make a horrible president. He is such an embarrassment and a joke. He is just like a child who is begging for attention can't make its mind up. Newt it is too late, you lost!

    May 25, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  5. CaliforniaBC

    Sucks when it YOU being attacked now doesn't it GOP. You lied about the Dems cutting Medicare to scare Seniors and NOW you are the ones actually slapping their health care with cuts and turning the system over to private insurers. Now you have to deal with the consequences of lying to the American public and prepare to be tossed out in 2012.

    May 25, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  6. Luchiano

    Sounds like the GOP have found a new way to fund their friend's pockets... investing in these private insurance companies who in turn will deny claims, cut coverage and raise rates because they can. "Instead, recipients would choose from a list of private insurance providers, which the federal government would subsidize." <--- complete joke, hopefully the American people will be wiser about which representatives they vote for in 2012.

    May 25, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  7. NVa Native

    The great two faced lizard has spoken. "Where are my diamonds!"

    May 25, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  8. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Excuse me Mr. Gingrich, it's the GOP who are using Ryan's plan to attack seniors not the Democrats.

    May 25, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    I will put $15K on the table right now if an insurance company comes to me and says that they will take that $15K and nothing more in order to insure an uninsured 70 year old man or woman with 3 of the most common ailments for people in their age group...let's say age-related diabetes, hypertension/arthersclerosis and maybe something structural, like knee or hip joint problems.

    I'm waiting.

    GOP's Medicare plan = REPEAL & REPLACE.

    May 25, 2011 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  10. NVa Native

    Gingerich and all the Repubs prefer corporate for-profit rationing of health care which also means corporate denying or canceling of healthcare – especially for seniors, the very young, or disabled.
    Kind of sounds like something the devil would suport – not that Gingerich is the devil.... or is he?
    Naw that's Cheney... the one without a heartbeat.

    May 25, 2011 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC

    Under the plan originally put forward Ryan, the government would no longer directly pay bills for senior citizens in the program. Instead, recipients would choose from a list of private insurance providers, which the federal government would subsidize.
    ----------------
    This would create an entire new industry of insurance companies, which would only raise the cost to the government or to Medicare recipients. The same thing happened with the GWB's plan to "improve" Medicare. Now we have an entire cottage industry taking a cut of money before it goes on to pay for prescriptions.

    Some would argue that the goverment paying salaries is an unnecessary branch of government; a function best served by private industry. Guess what? Somehow I don't think the goverment will be paying multi-million dollar salaries and bonuses to their employees. Somehow I do believe that a great many near the top of this new cottage insurance industry would become millionaires and billionaires. What do you think?

    May 25, 2011 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  12. BlackPanthers2020

    Let me reemphasize what AmericanS want FIRST : ABOLISH THE REPUBLICAN PARTY , SECOND : RAISE TAXES ON EVERYONE AND SIMPLIFY THE TAX CODE : THIRD : REPUBLICANS LOST ANY AND ALL ARGUMENTS PERTAINING TOO THE MEDICARE PROPOSALS ( MAKE US ALL PAY FOR THIS BUT REDUCE THE TAX RATE TO 25% FOR THE WEALTHIEST AMERICANS ) . FOURTH : WHERE IS THE JOBS BILLS THAT REPUBLICANS RAN ON DURING THE 2010 ELECTION CYCLE ( THEY HAVE NOT PRODUCE ONE BILL BUT AGAIN BLAME OBAMA ) ESTABLISH TERM LIMITS FOR ALL POLITICIANS AND MAKE THEM USE WHATEVER HEALTHCARE THAT EVERYONE ELSE USES , FIFTH : ELIMINATE ALL POLITIICAL CONTRIBUTIONS TO ANY POLITICAL PARTY ( NO MORE CORPORATE OR FOREIGN DONATIONS TO OUR POLITICAL PROCESSES .

    May 25, 2011 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  13. American

    Americans should fight against Newt's lies and flip-flops on the subject. Paul Ryan's disaster has been exposed as an attack on our seniors to give more unnecessary tax cuts to the uber rich.

    It is wrong, and Newt has No credibility by supporting this nonsense.

    May 25, 2011 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  14. independent

    Just as new Catholics are full of energy about their Catholicism, apparently new Right Wing Social Engineers are full of energy about their Right Wing Social Engineering.

    May 25, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  15. The Dude

    I see the Newt has both sides of his mouth working. He can't be trusted...ever.

    May 25, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  16. Yolanda Aaron

    Gingrich apparently thinks that there aren't enough of us 55 y/o and under, that really even CARE. Well there are and we do and we will be watching the Reps very carefully over the next few months, evaluating any plan that modifies Medicare submitted from any party with a fine tooth comb. I think Gingrich suggestion to the Republicans to fight for Ryan's Medicare proposal is only making matters worse for the Republican. It reflects a HARD and SOLID stance from Reps to appear inflexible in the support of hard working Americans. Well, I suggest we find something else to cut. Working Americans have and will continue to worked hard for many years and we ALL deserve to see some light at the end of the tunnel. I'm a 48 y/o African American woman who is an Independent Conservative, and this is not the solution.

    May 25, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  17. Charles

    Listen to yourself Mr. Newt Tiffany blings.Can this old news go away with Caribou baby Palin Stalin ?

    May 25, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  18. carly

    does anyone actually listen to this clown? he doesn't know if he is coming or going. A little pressure from the GOP and he does a complete turnaround on his Ryan plan statement. What a loser.

    May 25, 2011 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  19. K3Citizen

    Anyone who listens to Gingrich carefully will notice he double talks. He knows Ryan's plan is a disaster but he was bullied into changing his position so the republicans will have a chance at beating Obama in 2012. The republicans are doing what they can to get votes, plain and simple. Losing the special election should be the wake up call for them. The republicans forced the Craiglist guy out of office thinking they would have no problem replacing him with another republican. The GOP has some honesty issues to deal with because Americans are seeing that they are all talk and no action. What we have seen from republican leadership is them taking away workers rights, fornicating while in office, questioning Obama's citizenship, and having the urgent need to have seniors pay so much more for their health. No wonder Obama can't get anything done, half the government is slacking off on the job!

    May 25, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  20. kakaraka

    Really? Give $5000 voucher to pay for $20000 care is what you say affordable? You guys are disgusting, clueless and out-of-touch with the american people. Thanks but no thanks for your terrible and radical proposal for medicare elimination.

    May 25, 2011 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  21. Bruce

    The republican plan now indorsed by Newt is social engineering...it was when he so colorfully name it and it still is.

    May 25, 2011 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  22. Lost in Texas Forever

    Newt has to realize that we are NOT in the 80's or 90's anymore. People are not fooled (well some are but most aren't) just by what a certain person tells them. We have internet, FaceBook, Twitter, factchecking, and 24/7 news stations where you can get all the info one needs and even check some of the stuff people like Newt says against the REAL facts. The vote in upstate NY says a lot..and the GOP is trying to put all kinds of spin on it. Too much spin makes one just dizzy.

    May 25, 2011 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  23. Andy

    Newt has no guts to speak his mind out, at least Mitt Romney said what he felt was good for the ppl for massachussests. Newt is a joke and like he said the truth the first time, we dont need right wing social engineering!!

    May 25, 2011 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  24. gt

    this was a perfect trap ... and the republicans fell for it... dont do anything on medicare and then tell the people that you hate all old people... perfect...

    May 25, 2011 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  25. Voice of Reason

    The IRONY! Republicans are the ones trying to get RID of Medicare. Their plan would essentially GUT the system, and replace it with much much less care for seniors. This guy lies every time he has an audience.

    May 25, 2011 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
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