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Breaking news on Newt and Romneycare is not breaking and not news

Breaking news on Newt and Romneycare is not breaking and not news

Have you noticed, the hot topic this election cycle is to dig into internet archives and find something someone said which appears to contradict what the person says now.  It’s not a new phenomenon, but it has taken on gargantuan proportions this cycle.

The latest is the ABC News headline that a memo was found on a Newt-affilitated website in which, according to the headline, Gingrich ’06 Memo:  “Agree Entirely With Gov. Romney” on Health Care.  The Wall Street Journal has a similar, but not as categorical, headline, Gingrich Applauded Romney’s Health Plan.

First, that Newt had some nice things to say about Romneycare is not breaking news.  In particular, Newt has been criticized for supporting some form of mandate for those who make over $50,000 a year, the issue being the form of mandate (not necessarily the type of penalties under Obamacare or Romneycare).  It was all over the news last May, but last May seems to be more forgotten than a 2006 memo.  Criticism of Newt’s position is fair, but don’t pretend that it is something newly discovered.

(added) Newt’s praise of portions of a mandate and Romneycare was widely discussed after this interview with David Gregory last May (video h/t HotAir):

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Second, the actual memo does not “entirely” support Romneycare, and is very critical in numerous critical aspects.  Fortunately for me, Noel Sheppard at Newsbusters already has done the work for me, ABC’s Misleading Headline:

ABC’s Jonathan Karl Tuesday published a piece  now prominently featured at the Drudge Report with a headline guaranteed to be  the Obama-loving media’s lead story concerning something Republican presidential  candidate Newt Gingrich wrote over five years ago: “Gingrich ’06 Memo: ‘Agree Entirely With Gov. Romney’ on Health Care.”

Inside the actual document  uncovered by BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kaczynski, the former Speaker didn’t “agree  entirely with Gov. Romney” at all (emphasis added):

While in theory the plan should be affordable if the whole  state contributes to the cost, the reality is that Massachusetts has an  exhaustive list of health coverage regulations prohibiting insurers from  offering more basic, pared-down policies with higher deductibles. (This  is yet another reminder that America must establish a cross-state insurance  market that gives individuals the freedom to shop for insurance plans in states  other than their own.)

In our estimation, Massachusetts residents earning little  more than $30,000 a year are in jeopardy of being priced out of the system. In  the event that this occurs, Governor Romney will be in grave danger of  repeating the mistakes of his predecessor, Mike Dukakis, whose 1988 health plan  was hailed as a save-all but eventually collapsed when poorly-devised  payment structures created a malaise of unfulfilled promises. We propose that a  more realistic approach might be to limit the mandate to those individuals  earning upwards of $54,000 per year.

… Far more importantly, don’t be surprised if the rest of the Obama-loving, Gingrich-hating press similarly gloss over the paragraphs in this memo where the former Speaker expressed serious concern about the plan he supposedly “loved” and “agree[d] entirely with.”

Again, I don’t criticize someone for disagreeing with Newt, but this “breaking news” and gotcha movement is out of control.

It seems that actually reading and analyzing documents is hopeless in the face of headlines and people who don’t care.


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The reason the media brings out this trash is because someone, somewhere, hasn’t heard of it and the meda wants to make sure they do now. If they can claim and be believed that this is new news all the better. Besides that, everyone knows the attention span of the average voter is two weeks (in some cases two days); therefore, they would have long forgotten this juicy tidbit. Politics has always bee a dirty business, but when the media takes one side through it all, it gets so much dirtier. It used to be the media went after everybody and let the chips fall where they may but no longer. They are all communist or comunist leaning and support our communist president.

why is it that someone who supported the idea of universal healthcare is heaped with more scorn than someone who actually DID it.

    logos in reply to javau. | December 27, 2011 at 11:02 am

    Very astute question.

    Rush expressed the theory that public education has been intentionally dumbed down to produce a populace which can be easily controlled by the ruling elite.

    Lacking critical thinking skills, an undereducated populace never questions the media spin.

Windy City Commentary | December 27, 2011 at 11:28 am

Misleading Headlines are the wave of the future. There have been so many false headlines lately. It is a great way for reporters to lie.

I think its more important to be free than have universal health care. Fear is what they use to control you. Fear of death, fear of poverty, Fear of personal safety. Fear is the wedge used to control us. Here is the inescapable truths of life

You can’t escape death
You can’t solve poverty
The government can’t and won’t protect you

Now they say they can, but its all lies. its fundamentally, conceptually easy to understand, mathematically provable lies. Remember politicians unlike the rest of society are allowed and EXPECTED to commit widespread fraud so they can control us to doing their bidding. Every time we let them try we lose a piece of our freedom and they still don’t solve anything. they actually make everything worse. The government can only restrict production, they can’t expand it. Otherwise if they could, they would making billions in the private industry.

One could just take a look at the medical profession and wonder WTF have the solved with all this intervention? How can any reasonable person support the horrors the government has visited upon the population? How many people has the government killed with its crazy command driven policies?

This is nuts. we need to return to freedom, to make things better, not perfect. Any society can provide crappy inefficient health care, but only a few nations through the course of history have provided their people with liberty and the right to pursue their own happiness.

Whether it’s old news or not, doesn’t it seem timely given the fanaticism with which some are trying to claim that Newt is *so* much more conservative than Romney? The headline may be stretched a bit, but the actual content of the memo is enough to apparently drive Newt to claim he didn’t really write it.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to markn. | December 27, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    Well, both Gingrich and Romney are making the promises a conservative makes, right? We can’t know in advance if either of them will actually serve as a conservative president. Gingrich has most definitely served as a conservative in the past, plus he’s had some iffy moments. It is hard to point to Romney’s conservative history, some time or era where he proceeded as a conservative. So, if each is going to promise to turn Washington DC into Conservative City, at least we know Newt’s actually been there before.

The document says:

“The most exciting development of the past few weeks is what has been happening up in Massachusetts. The health bill that Governor Romney signed into law this month has tremendous potential to effect major change in the American health system.

Individuals who can afford to purchase health insurance and simply choose not to place an unnecessary burden on a system that is on the verge of collapse; these free-riders undermine the entire health system by placing the onus of responsibility on taxpayers.

The Romney plan attempts to bring everyone into the system. The individual mandate requires those who earn enough to afford insurance to purchase coverage, and subsidies will be made available to those individuals who cannot afford insurance on their own.”

I lean to Gingrich over Romney, but this statement celebrates the state using its decision to provide benefits as a pretext for dictating personal behavior.

    Very astute analysis! The argument over healthcare in this country is really rather amateurish. Look, 40% going to 50%, in several years (as the baby boomers retire), will get Medicare – a single payer health program. We are differing on Obamacare over what? Firstly, I think Obamacare was a waste of time and put together by ideologue’s who are moron’s. No matter what your political persuasion, one undeniable fact is that health care in the U.S. is universal, everyone gets it – via paid or free (in emergency room). That is the system that needs repair. If you look at examples around the world that seem to work, the one which sticks out is Switzerland, which has a government system provided by 90 different insurance companies. For a small, country like that, 90 insurance companies is quite competitive. We should study their system and come up with what works for the U.S.

So .. I don’t understand the point of a govt healthcare system. We already have in place a golden ticket via the emergency room that we already pay for those who cannot meet their bills.

How is that different from Universal health care? Taxpayers still pay, but more liberty is conserved. What’s next ? Am I going to be ticketed for not going to see the doctor enough times in a year/month/week? Insurance only really makes sense for someone who has or feel in danger of some chronic illness and goes to a doctor more or less regularly.

This year I spent more than $6000 on insurance… I got nothing for it but my little plastic card, and a 10% discount for glasses. ( yay only $5600 in the hole!). And should something happen i have to come up with another $6000 before they graciously agree to pay 80% of the bill. Theoretically office visits are cheaper.. but as I said that only helps if you actually go regularly.

Seriously considering going no coverage..seems like its all coming out of my pocket anyhow, it might as well sit in a bank account or brokerage working for me rather than some insurance company.

This whole argument is stupid I don’t understand how anyone thinks this is a good arrangement. So good that EVERYONE should be forced into it. So far benefit vs cost has got me seriously wondering if its really necessary at all.

No one offers the plan I’d like. They pay 100% for a preset # office/specialist visits per year + emergency and surgery deemed necessary by two independently consulted physicians and any prescribed medication. MAjor medical!!! Name your price and a deduction schedule for this and you could have a new customer… I am serious. I don’t want to see any forms but initial enrollment and treatment consent, you and the hospital/emergency room/physician take care of anything else amongst yourselves. basically I pay a fee on a regular basis and you guys make sure that I get my necessary and proper treatment. Is that really so hard?

/semi coherent rant


BannedbytheGuardian | December 27, 2011 at 5:01 pm

Never in the history of humanity has there been a healthier 300 million people than the USA of today.

What ailments they do have is either self inflicted by stuffing their pie holes continually or the result of former advances in health care i.e they would be dead & not complaining.

The massive advances in surgery & transportation of delivery are due to the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan. Not only is Gabrielle Gifford alive due to a war surgeon but all the military equipment advances are now exported to friendly nations.

On the shoulders of the dead & injured American soldier.

Something to think about.