Gingrich backs bipartisan Medicare proposal
December 15th, 2011
04:15 PM ET
3 years ago

Gingrich backs bipartisan Medicare proposal

Fort Dodge, Iowa (CNN) – Newt Gingrich threw his support behind Republican Rep. Paul Ryan and Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden's new Medicare reform plan, calling it "a big step in the right direction."

"It's nice to see us break how Washington's been operating and a Democrat and a Republican come together for that kind of bipartisan approach," Gingrich said Thursday, speaking at the Willow Ridge Golf course in Fort Dodge.

Gingrich made similar comments to Iowa Public Television earlier Thursday, suggesting the plan might be the "beginning of breaking up the logjam, and starting to get Democrats and Republicans to talk to each other."

The proposal from the two lawmakers, which would go into effect in 2022, would keep traditional Medicare as an option and allow private insurance to engage in regulated competition with the government-run health plan.

Gingrich's comments follow criticism from the campaign of rival Mitt Romney, who has pounded the former House speaker over his past opposition of Ryan's initial proposal to overhaul Medicare.

Gingrich called the plan, which would institute voucher accounts for beneficiaries, "right-wing social engineering." Following public outcry Gingrich walked the statement back and eventually offered support for the plan. But Team Romney has released web videos and a series of fact-check emails attempting to paint Gingrich as unreliable.

- CNN's Gabriella Schwarz and Rachel Streitfeld contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Congress • Medicare • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. The Real Tom Paine

    One question I have is, why the 2022 date? I find it hard to believe they need 10 years to enact this plan, which seems like a reasonable compromise given the level of acrimony in the country.

    December 15, 2011 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  2. Jariv

    Not paint him. He doesn't need painting, he is unreliable. Just wait and you will see.

    December 15, 2011 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    "@Sniffit – If you look at disposable income (income over the poverty level) and include SS/Medicare taxes as taxes, the wealthy pay much less than the middle class. The middle class pay 22% – 24% of disposable income in taxes, while the wealthy pay 16% to 18%. How is that fair? "

    You;'r epreaching to the choire Mikey. Sorry if you misunderstood my posts, but I'm defending the argument that it is, indeed, extremely unfair and is all set up to make the rich richer and the poor poorer. You won't find a more merciless critic of the GOP's plutocratic policies than me.

    December 15, 2011 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  4. Namejkane

    Republicans just want to get their hands on the government money so their buddies can make a buck off of it , just like privatize soc. Sec, they would love to get a hold of that money for their wall street friends. Don't fall for it, there not out to do you any favors. Privatize any government program means they can make money off it. What a bunch off low life loser these teabags . Vote them out!!!!!!

    December 15, 2011 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  5. 1crusader

    This proposal is just being floated .How can he and anyone else jump on this train before analyzing the plan?Like school vouchers that take money out of public education, we need to know what the details are.

    December 15, 2011 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    Wyden shoudl be tarred and feathered. This is goingto get sold as "bipartisan" all over the MSM even though Wyden is totally off the reservation and Dems universally oppose this idiot move of his, which would completely destroy Medicare by ruining its purchasing power leverage and giving the GOP the means to make sure that premiums are constantly rising for Medicare recipients, forcing more and more of them out of the plan and either intot he arms of private insurers or into their casket, uninsured and bereft of medical care. Don't believe me? Check the proposal's consequences: it scraps the board in the ACA given the power and duty to control Medicare cost growth and gives Congress the power and duty to keep Medicare cost growth to the same level as growth of GDP....AND, if Congress fails to do so, IT IMPOSES AUTOMATIC PREMIUM RATE INCREASES ACROSS THE BOARD ON ALL BENEFICIARIES. You think the GOP is having fun breaking gov't now? I can assure you they'd be obstructing any efforts to contain Medicare cost growth if the alternative is auto-increases to Medicare premiums that force people out of the program, thus assuring it "withers on the vine" (Newtered's wet dream...the quote is from him and is what Carney was referring to when he used those words).

    December 15, 2011 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  7. Mikey

    @Sniffit – I didn't misunderstand. I was supporting your argument. Sorry I didn't make that clear. We are definately on the same page. Keep up the good work. The truth will win out in the end.

    December 15, 2011 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  8. david

    this is an attemped to explain the 2022 date. i am a baby boomer thats is angry that first this congress has over the years talked people into thinking that medicare and social susurity have something to do with the current dept which it doesn't. in the 1970s social sucurity was fixed by raising the taxes and cut off age of retirement for us baby boomers. the fund has generated very large supluses for years. presidents and congress started to borrow from the fund and congress just put anouther IOU in the account to show the loan. the amount owed is now at $2.4 trillion . the fund will because of all the borrowing will go into the red about the year 2022 at which time i am sure the IOUs will suface to show why the account has really gone broke sooner rather than later. the congress does not want the american people to know the truth that they have used it for their personal piggy bank for years to pay for other things! (and we wonder were wall street learned how to cook the books right under the investers noises). one party was much more involved in the borrowing because it seemed an easy way to distroy a program that they really hated. just in the last year of george bush jrs term in office he borrowed he borrowed $674 billion. BASICLLY THE BABY BOOMERS WERE ROBBED OUT OF THE YEARS OF SURPLUS JUST TO PAY FOR TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH. come on baby boomers we used to run this country at the voting both based on facts not bla bla bla political ideologies that sound good and its time to start running it again.

    December 15, 2011 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |