Newt Gingrich went on Meet the Press today and gave a qualified endorsement to the individual mandate, indicating that people need to take responsibility for paying for their own health care. He also rejected, in pretty stark terms, the proposal made by Rep. Paul Ryan to change Medicare to a “premium support” model.
“I don’t think right-wing social engineering is any more desirable than left-wing social engineering,” Gingrich said on NBC’s “Meet The Press.”
The former House speaker and candidate for the GOP presidential nomination called it “radical change” and “too big a jump.” Instead, he pushed for creating a system that allows people to pick other options than government-run coverage, so that they “voluntarily migrate to better outcomes, better solutions, better options.”
Newt was burned by the Clinton troops the last time he moved, as Speaker in 1995, to modify the Medicare program, suffering as Clinton launched an assault on that issue. He apparently does not wish to stick his hand in that fire again.
Newt is a deeply flawed candidate who lacks discipline, but I do believe he will bring some freewheeling debate to the Republican nominating process. We now await the arrival of Donald Trump to bring freewheeling to a new plateau!