Two weeks ago Newt Gingrich called Paul Ryan’s proposals to reform Medicare “brave” and said that he would vote for them if he were in Congress. Yesterday on Meet the Press Gingrich called the plan “radical” and described it as “right wing social engineering.”
This morning on Mike Gallagher’s radio show Gingrich is claiming that he’s being taken out of context, though he admits that the “social engineering” jab probably went too far.
Basically, Newt’s beef is that the Ryan plan makes Medicare vouchers mandatory instead of setting it up as a voluntary program. The problem is that if the program is simply voluntary, it won’t work. Medicare won’t actually be reformed, and we’ll be on the same path toward collapse we were on before.
Gingrich argues that an optional vouchers plan would be more political palatable. That may be, but in these scary and uncertain times what are we worried about more? Politics, or policy that actually achieves something?
By the way, Gingrich has also put out a video (below) trying to clarify comments he made seeming to support the Obamacare insurance mandate, though Daniel Foster points out that this additional clarification doesn’t quite explain away Gingrich’s original comments.
“We seem to have to parse terms a lot in order to agree that Gingrich got misunderstood yesterday,” writes Ed Morrissey, “and I don’t think that voters are in a mood to mince words.”