Newt Gingrich Calls Paul Ryan’s Medicare Plan “Too Big A Jump”

Newt Gingrich’s appearance on Meet The Press today is likely to get a lot of attention mostly for the fact that clearly, and rather emphatically, distanced himself from the Medicare reforms proposed by Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan and adopted by the House GOP:

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Newt Gingrich’s appearance on “Meet the Press” today could have some wondering which party’s nomination he is running for. The former speaker had some harsh words for Paul Ryan’s (and by extension the nearly every House Republican’s) plan to reform Medicare.

“I don’t think right-wing social engineering is any more desirable than left-wing social engineering,” he said. “I don’t think imposing radical change from the right or the left is a very good way for a free society to operate.”

He did offer an alternative “plan” of sorts, but it was essentially the same appeal trotted out by Obama/Reid/Pelosi for a “national conversation” on how to “improve” Medicare and ending ‘waste, fraud and abuse,’ etc.

“I think what you want to have is a system where people voluntarily migrate to better outcomes, better solutions, better options,” Gingrich said. Ryan’s plan was simply “too big a jump.”

He even went so far as to compare it the Obama health-care plan.”I’m against Obamacare, which is imposing radical change, and I would be against a conservative imposing radical change.”

Gingrich also seemed to suggest that he would be in favor of some form of an individual mandate:

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“I don’t think having a free rider system in [health care] is any more appropriate than having a free rider system in any other part of the economy.”

I can see the Democratic ads now: Even Newt Gingrich doesn’t support the Ryan Plan, and he thinks there should be an individual mandate.

It’s almost like Gingrich is returning to his pre-Speaker days in the House when he was an intellectual bombthrower. This one, yea, it’s a grenade and it landed right in the middle of the Republican budget plan.


FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Deficit and Debt, Health Care, US Politics, , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. ratufa says:

    Yes. Newt has supported an individual mandate:

    Personal responsibility for one’s health also extends to the purchase of health insurance. Citizens should not be able to cheat their neighbors by not buying or obtaining insurance, and expect others to pay for their care when they need it. Individuals should either purchase insurance that meets their individual needs or post a bond to opt out. This responsibility should be coupled with an equal responsibility for private insurers to issue a policy to anyone who applies, regardless of health status. However, these requirements are only acceptable when the larger healthcare system has been fundamentally changed. It is unjust to require an individual to buy into a broken and dysfunctional system.

    That is from:

    Which he endorsed here:

  2. He’s taking what’s become the standard track for non-incumbents running for office. Tell the voters that he’s finally figured out some magic way for them to have a free lunch; all of the spending without any of the tax increses to pay for it. Since he’s not in office, he doesn’t have to propose a specific plan, so it’s easy to make this claim.

  3. sam says:

    “it landed right in the middle of the Republican budget plan.”

    Hey, couldn’t have happened to a nicer plan.

  4. packeryman says:

    Newt is right in that Ryan’s plan is “Too big of a jump”. Instead of trying to destroy Medicare by privatizing it they should put Medicare and Social Security in a lock box , so politicians can’t steal it for for foreign aid, foreign wars, and occupations. Lift the cap on all taxable so SS/Medicare will be paid on all.Then clean up the fraud by the health PROVIDERS. Both would be in good shape.Medicare is a good plan, much better than the private supplemental policies that Medicare patients have to carry. At least Medicare always pays on time. Lets get the sorry politicians to fix it not destroy it. You notice the our sell out politicians never mention the real cause and solution to the problem.

  5. Santiago says:

    Newt Gingrich And Paul Ryan: A True Love Story!

    Newt Gingrich grovels before Paul Ryan for telling the truth!