Does Gingrich Back Individual Mandate?

Does Gingrich Back Individual Mandate?

By Michael Meulemans, About.com Guide November 25, 2011

Presidential candidate politics got tangled up in health care policy during the recent Republican candidate debate sponsored by CNN on the subject of health care reform, the PPACA, and the individual mandate.

In CNN’s Republican presidential debate last month, when Mitt Romney argued that his Massachusetts reform plan’s central individual health care mandate idea had come from Gingrich. "You did not get that from me," Gingrich thundered in response, before eventually conceding that in the early 1990s he and the conservative Heritage Foundation had backed the idea of a mandate compelling individuals to purchase health insurance.

What Gingrich didn’t say during this dust-up was that the Gingrich Group, a consulting firm the former GOP House speaker founded in 1999, currently promotes a plan that includes an individual mandate.

So what is Gingrich’s health care policy? Now, he says he does not believe in mandates. Ok, positions can evolve over time. But now the think tank Gingrich founded has collected at least $37 million over the past eight years from major health-care companies and industry groups, offering special access to the former House speaker and other perks, according to records and interviews. The Center for Health Transformation, which opened in 2003, brought in dues of as much as $200,000 per year from insurers and other health-care firms, offering some of them "access to Newt Gingrich" and "direct Newt interaction," according to promotional materials.

While there’s nothing illegal, or unethical about that its important nonetheless to remember when analyzing his policies and thinking forward as he makes health care policy if elected to be President of the United States. Surely, it seems if that happens insurance companies would benefit.

In May, Gingrich also criticized Paul Ryan’s Medicare reform plan as "too radical" and a step toward, "right wing social engineering". At the time and since, Gingrich has offered little idea of how he would reduce the deficit. He said it was possible to solve the US’s long-term fiscal deficit without any tax increases but the only cuts he specified were reducing government waste and "not paying crooks".

Kevin Wrege, Esq.

Founder & President

Pulse Issues & Advocacy LLC

Office: 202-625-1787

Mobile: 202-253-4929

4410 Massachusetts Ave., NW, #150

Washington, DC 20016

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