Gingrich separates himself from GOP on Medicare?
May 16th, 2011
12:37 PM ET
12 years ago

Gingrich separates himself from GOP on Medicare?

(CNN) – Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich may have appeared to significantly separate himself Sunday from a leading House GOP proposal to institute a voucher program in place of Medicare, but a Gingrich spokesman insists there is actually little difference between the former House Speaker and Republicans on the Hill.

"There is little daylight between Ryan and Gingrich," Gingrich spokesman Rick Tyler told conservative publication The Weekly Standard. "But look how it gets reported. Newt would fully support Ryan if it were not compulsory. We need to design a better system that people will voluntarily move to. That is a major difference in design but not substance."

Gingrich's initial comments came during an interview on NBC's Meet the Press, when he called the Medicare provision in the GOP budget proposal spearheaded by Rep. Paul Ryan a "radical change."

"What you want to have is a system where people voluntarily migrate to better outcomes, better solutions, better options, not one where you suddenly impose it," Gingrich said. "I am against Obamacare imposing radical change, and I would be against a conservative imposing radical change."

Ryan's plan, which has already been met with strict resistance at GOP town-halls across the country, proposes substituting vouchers in place of the current government-run Medicare program that is automatically available to seniors. Instead, voucher recipients would be permitted to apply the government subsidies to private health care plans.

"I don't think right-wing social engineering is any more desirable than left-wing social engineering," Gingrich said of the plan. "I think we need a national conversation to get to a better Medicare solution for seniors."

The former House Speaker, who formally declared he is a presidential candidate last week, said he would favor a hybrid of the current Medicare program coupled with the voucher alternative.

Meanwhile, at least one of Gingrich's presidential rivals is already jumping all over the former House Speaker for denouncing the GOP proposal:

"For several years, Newt Gingrich has deserved a lot of credit for thinking through a great many issues in a serious and interesting fashion. But his criticism of Congressman Paul Ryan's Medicare reform plan yesterday was a big departure from Speaker Gingrich's often sound policy proposals," former Sen. Rick Santorum said.

"Furthermore, it was a departure from his support of Paul Ryan's plan just a few weeks ago. Contrary to what Speaker Gingrich said yesterday, the Ryan plan does not 'suddenly impose' 'radical change.' It is a good first step toward positive reform of a program in desperate need of rescue. Paul Ryan's plan is the first serious step by our new Congress to empower future seniors with more choices while at the same time keeping the Medicare system solvent and reining in out-of-control federal spending," he added.

Filed under: 2012 • Medicare • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. Aaron

    Another Repub putting a spin on it to get the same result...eliminate Medicare. Big surprise there. He just forgot to mention tax cuts for the rich in his diatribe.

    May 16, 2011 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  2. vet in texas

    Newt's money is in the health industry, look it up. he'll be just like Cheney and Haliburton.

    May 16, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  3. deb

    Way to "Flip-Flop again Mr. Newt? You,ll ask for forgiveness? And everything will be just fine? I,m going to love watching you loose by a "Land Slide"

    May 16, 2011 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  4. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country (the real deal)

    Trustees of Medicare and Social Security say it is going DOWN. At this point, if the Democrats want to let it go bankrupt then let it. Let's just continue down that glide path to a crash landing for everybody. When it is dead and gone, will the Democrats THEN get serious? They continue to play politics with the future of everybody in this country. Despicable.

    May 16, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  5. BlackPanthers2020

    @Democrat Class Warfare – Destroying the economy, destroying the country (the real deal) , if i'm not mistaken republicans are trying to destroy our country from within , and that part about SS , well from what I read that's pretty stable through 2039 or something like that , stop being an some jerk as if republicans aren't trying to dupe the masses !!!! into voting for them so they can continue to take people's rights away from them but at the same time idiots like you and your other retardigans can keep yelling lower taxes and smaller govenrnment , yeah right how' is that suppose to work with a counrty of over 300 million people .......................another GOP ( GREED OVER PEOPLE ) LIE.

    May 16, 2011 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  6. ConservaFASCISTS

    Newt's seen the polls. His fascists colleagues are getting hammered at their town hall meetings. He knows to distance himself on Paul Ryan's Medicare proposal.

    May 16, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  7. Mad in CT

    Nice try exploiting the political middle Newt, but it will not save your sorry hide. By the way, let's get real: the real reason you're not man-whoring today isn't because of your so-called "strong marriage" to your stepford wife. The bottom line is, with that gut, diabetes has set in, the pecker don't peck so well anymore and you're afraid of the embarassment and rejection by the next conquest. Hell, you probably haven't seen it in years. But, who knows, with you, a little viagra and "hard" work can be just the ticket you need to return to action! All the best to you and Callista.

    May 16, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  8. NVa Native

    Disgusting is all that can be said for the slimey Newt and the neo-con followers. Social security is better funded than most govt. programs and yes it will need tweaking – as every thing does. Grow up children of the right (corn) some things are worth working for. Unless you have a trust fund and never worked a day in your life – like most of the GOP.

    May 16, 2011 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  9. SuperD

    Look, Obama hung out with some real creeps, Ayers etc....but he gets a pass, because he's a Democrat.

    Newt, his personal life may not be perfect (who's is?), but I am not going to let that personal stuff cloud my judgement. Newt is the smartest guy in the room and offers the best solutions to get the US out of this Progressive nightmare we are living in.

    Also agree with Democrat Class Warfare big time. It's going to have to crash before the Democrats will do anything, they keep protecting the status quo, and hoping everything will work I say "Hope and Change" Look what that gargage got us.

    May 16, 2011 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  10. needNewGov

    nobody seems to have the guts to really do what is right, so we will constantly have folk like Newt and the gang kicking the ole can. I have this feeling the only way to solve this mess is either get everyone in this country employed with high wages, up the tax rate or start killing all our seniors at 70 before they all get sickly and needy. The fact is that we are living longer and health care is costing more and their are less younger people paying into the system.

    as for "Democrat Class Warfare", where are you living. Both Dems and GOP are killing this country because it's all about power and greed. Get a life!!!!!

    May 16, 2011 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  11. once upon a horse

    Newt needs something to get him some support. He's just playing to what is going on now in the GOP. If people were not against it, he wouldn't be either.

    May 16, 2011 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  12. Marie MD

    We watched him on Meet the Presx yesterday morning. I was impressed (in z whzt the heck kind of way) because Gregory was asking him the tough quetions, but what was really amusing were his anwers. If this lying, disgraced cheater wasn't an old retread from the 90s you wouldn't think that he was giving the world a lot of bs!
    If he says he cheated while married because of his passion for his job (no wonder he chose changing to catholid) while in congress can you imagine what he would do if he had to visit Alabama to comfort the people after the weather mayhem they endured, met with Ms Giffords in florida,and participated in the WH roast of the trumper man all the while knowing what was coming for bin laden? there wouldn't have been enough bedrooms not just in the WH but in all of DC and surrounding cities to keep the newter (pun intended) man down (pun also intended).

    May 16, 2011 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  13. Johnathan

    Thank God Trump bowed out. He might have had a harder time proving that his hair is american than Obama proving he was born here.

    Newt the Hypocrite. All gas. A regular hot air balloon. Why anyone would vote republican, against their own self interest (unless you are big oil, insurance or wall st) I will never understand. Truly ignorant voters out there. Keep em dumbed down Fox.

    May 16, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  14. thomas

    The press is way to easy on this guy !
    Newt is like a high school teacher I once had who defended apartide in South Africa !

    May 16, 2011 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  15. Larry

    The comment that Medicare and Social Security are going down. They are not going down, now "we the people" will have to make good on the treasury bills that money was invested in. Many in government would like to pretend they are worthless IOU's but I don't see us willing to tell China that or all the other treasury bill investors. Money was take from those funds so that people could have all kinds of other things without paying the taxes to have them. We need to grow up, decide what we want as a society and pay for it.

    May 16, 2011 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  16. Thomas

    You mean 'Repblicans' want to let Medicaire go bankrupt, right? That's who wants to prevent the funding of it...

    May 16, 2011 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  17. gt

    newt .. do like trump and just give it up... your toast...

    May 16, 2011 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC

    Newt is already on record several years in the early 1990s (back when Republicans were for it before they were against it) advocating for universal health care with mandatory coverage for everyone. He has the same problem as Romney when it comes to mandated heath insurance. "We all have to buy auto insurance, ...." circa 1990 – Meet the Press with Tim Russert.

    May 16, 2011 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  19. Malory Archer

    Medicare & Social Security are going DOWN you say? Howsabout the government stop paying out, and reimburse everyone every penny they and their employers on their behalf have contributed to the SS/medicare pot over their working lives? Those of us who are still working should be reimbursed every penny confiscated from them and their employers according to their latest annual Social Security statement of benefits. Retirees who have already received more than they've paid in should be required to pay it back. Retirees who were stay at home spouses should only receive their spouse's benefit if the spouse dies prior to exhausting their benefit; once that $ is gone, they're on their own! Considering that demographic voted overwhelmingly for these fascists in 2010, they shouldn't have a problem with that. If we can't have our money back, working Americans age 42 – 54 should be exempt from any type of tax (federal, state & local) for the rest of our working lives. It's the only way we can make up for what we stand to lose. Exemptions for younger workers should be based on years in the work force. It's only fair.

    May 16, 2011 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  20. Malory Archer

    That should be: Those of us who are still working should be reimbursed every penny confiscated from us and our employers according to our latest annual Social Security statement of benefits.

    May 16, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  21. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country (the real deal)

    Go Obama/Biden 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Newt and the rest of the GOP are a joke.

    May 16, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  22. Nevis

    When discussing Social Security, no one seems to mention the fact that witholding for Social Security tops out at a very low income in today's world. So what I paid in when I was employed was significant amount compared to someone with a much higher income. For 2010 the Social Security wage base was $106,800. So let's say a person made $100,000 in a year, they would pay (6.2% witholding rate) or $6200 witheld (and same amount paid by employer). But if the person made $600,000 they would pay only 6.2% of the difference between $100,000 and the $106,800 base. An insignificant amount compared to the six-fold difference in income. No wonder the rich get richer. Medicare would be very solvent if everyone paid their fair share.

    May 16, 2011 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  23. Dot

    Spin, spin, spin . . . squirm, squirm, squirm, . . . flip-flop, flip-flop. Pretty much sums up the entire GOP platform.

    Democrat Class Warfare – "Trustees of Medicare and Social Security say it is going DOWN"

    Oh. Really. And which Trustees are those? What are their names? Why don't you try, just for a refreshing change, to make a statement which can actually be backed up by facts?

    May 16, 2011 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  24. alan Sanit Louis

    When will people learn to get rid of the rethuglicans ? WE HAD 8 year ERA OF REPULICAN UTIPIA where they controlled congress and president. AND we all agree it was the worst times the USA expericanced since the great deprresion. And now want to be in charge again. YOU noticed how we are recovering very fast now from the leagilation that was placed during the first two years of POTUS and Democrats. IF we put rethuglicans in charge again all they do is to use the government to redribute the wealth to the eliteist. Any one rember the history book about french in the old days where they had surf which were 99.99 percent of the country and were basicaly were slaves and all combined held only 1 percent of the country wealth. then you had the lords and king. Those are the good ole days the rethuglicans like to see. Several rich people having all the wealth while they pay only peenies to us to work all day for them. 99 percent of the country be living in cardboard boxes and tents working all day just for a scrap of food. WE keep on this trend the rich get richer and the rest of us get poorer we will be there soon. Once the rethuglicans kill the middle class the usa is dead.

    May 16, 2011 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  25. Dan from Tx

    "I am convinced that if we do not decisively win the struggle over the nature of America, by the time they're my age they will be in a secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists"- Newt Gingrich


    May 16, 2011 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
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