Newt Gingrich came out yesterday and referred to Paul Ryan’s plan for Medicare both radical and social engineering:
That left many of us scratching our heads as to why he would dis the only viable plan for fixing Medicare. Turns out, he’s flip flopped on this issue according to Ed Morrissey:
The attack also puzzled Jay Newton-Small at Time. Two weeks ago, Gingrich told her that he would have voted for the plan offered by the “brave” Republican Representative:
The former speaker sang Ryan’s praises for being a “brave” “man of ideas,” like Gingrich himself.
“But would you have voted for Ryan’s plan?” I pressed.
“Sure,” Gingrich replied.
“Do you think it would actually save the health care system?”
“No, I think it’s the first step,” Gingrich said. “You need an entirely new set of solutions.”
Compare this to how Gingrich described the Ryan plan yesterday:
MR. GREGORY: But not what Paul Ryan is suggesting, which is completely changing Medicare.
REP. GINGRICH: I, I think that, I think, I think that that is too big a jump. I think 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 upon the–I don’t want to–I’m against Obamacare, which is imposing radical change, and I would be against a conservative imposing radical change.
Verum Serum has also uncovered another flip flop from Newt on Medicare Vouchers. Yesterday he criticized the voucher program and said it was “too big a jump”. Of course that’s not what he told American Enterprise Institute in 2000:
QUESTION: Mr. Speaker, then for the Medicare or Medicaid recipient, would you advocate for vouchers?
MR. GINGRICH: Well, I think the Breaux-Thomas report indicated, clearly, a move in the direction of vouchers of some kind, and I would recommend the same thing for Medicaid, because you think about the logical argument on welfare reform, all American citizens can have responsibility for their lives, and I think this idea of a bureaucratically–this is another thing I didn’t put in the paper that I probably should have, or I would in a longer version.
That is, I think what conservatives have to decide is they’ll accept some redistribution if it isn’t bureaucratic, and the challenge you have to say to liberals is, look, we’ll take care of the poorest Americans but we’re not going to do it through a large bureaucracy. We’re going to do it by transferring assets in a way that they have control of their lives, that they’re making purchases, and that they’re involved in having choice in an active way, which is very different than the current Medicaid model.
2000 is quite a ways back so I don’t hold that against him as much I do him saying he would vote for the Ryan plan before calling it right wing social engineering. This is what is so wrong with Newt. He seems to be a man without principle, a man just interested in winning. From picking Democrat Scozzafava to now this, there is no way I can support Gingrich.