I wince when people hold up Newt Gingrich as an alternative to Mitt Romney. Why? I've dissected this short revealing video of Gingrich and Hillary Clinton in front of the cameras back in 2005 making the case for health care mandates. I was able to weed my way through the piles of Newt-speak to find a very candid glimpse of the real Newt.
Full video: Gingrich and mandates
When you untangle his Byzantine rhetoric you will find that:
He proposes that the health care system should redistribute wealth to the poor so they can afford health care.
At 27 seconds
"The Right has to decide that some aspects of the working poor has to involve transfers of finances. To ask people in the lowest paying jobs to bear the full burden of their health insurance is just irrational. It's not going to happen."
He proposes government vouchers for the working poor to help them pay for insurance
"I would start looking for a way to voucherize Medicaid for the working poor."
"When we invented food stamp we didn't invent government run grocery stores. In a way, Medicaid was badly designed."
Newt admitting he's not "as right wing" as some would like. He is fully aware of what he's proposing here and how it runs counter to conservative principles.
"Again I know I don't sound quite as right wing as I should."
Let's drag those mean insurance companies in front of Congress and make them explain their horrific profits
"It is perfectly rational for an individual insurance company to design a strategy of cherry picking. We have invented a health insurance system where the highest profit margin is insuring people who don't need it. Now that's perfectly rational for the individual company. It is utterly irrational for the society."
"That's a topic that he Congress should take up and holding hearings on: which mechanism would minimize cherry picking. And let the companies all come in and explain how they're doing it."
The payoff. Get insurance or post a bound. RomneyCare = ObamaCare = GingrichCare
"My point to conservatives is that it's a model of responsibility. If I see someone who's earning over 50 thousand dollars a year, who has made the calculated decision not to buy health care I'm looking at someone who's absolutely as irresponsible as anybody who was ever on Welfare. Because what they're saying is that a) I'm gambling that I won't get sick. And b) I'm gambling if a I do get sick I can cheat all my neighbors."
"I'm actually in favor of finding a way to say if your above whatever the appropriate income level is, you oughta have health insurance or you need to post a bond. We have not right in this society to have free ride if you're well off economically to say we'll cheat our neighbors."
In other videos Newt also advocates for a national database of health records. It's just more big government in your life. Like I said, the full mother load of Newt's baggage has yet to hit the fan.
The bottom line
Please note how carefully Gingrich weaves in just enough conservative phrasing to hide his progressive agenda. He's a master at sounding conservative while pushing the same programs as liberal progressives. Newt Gingrich is a long time firm believer in big government and big government solutions. If you drill down into his proposals, you'll find that he will benefit in some way. In this case Gingrich has collected 37 million dollars from the Health Care industry over his career in Washington. It is foolish to believe he will go to Washington and fight for smaller government. He is more than willing to cozy up to the Dems and align himself with their world view as long as it benefits him.