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Health Care: The Straw That Should Break Newtmania's Back


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health_care_the_straw_that_should_break_newtmanias_back.htmlAmerican Thinker:

Of all the arguments against nominating Mitt Romney for president, perhaps the strongest is that his enactment of RomneyCare and his refusal to disavow it could neutralize the Republicans' ability to run against Barack Obama's own intensely unpopular health care plan. If Romney is the GOP standard-bearer, expect Democrats to play up the similarities and common ancestry of the two plans, challenging Romney to explain why one is a bipartisan success story and the other is an intolerable threat to our way of life. It's certainly a concern Republican primary voters must take seriously.

But the idea that Newt Gingrich would be preferable on that score is about as unserious as it gets. The former speaker may be talking tough now on how "you can't make the difference" between RomneyCare and ObamaCare and boasting that "I can ask [Congress] to repeal ObamaCare because I haven't passed something which resembles it," but the truth is that Gingrich is every bit as compromised on health care as Romney is -- perhaps even more so.

You wouldn't know it from his bluster on the stump, but Gingrich endorsed RomneyCare in 2006. Despite some criticism of the bill's imperfections, he "agree[d] entirely with Governor Romney and Massachusetts legislators that our goal should be 100 percent insurance coverage for all Americans" and, to that end, called RomneyCare "the most exciting development of the past few weeks," with "tremendous potential to effect major change in the American health system."

And while Romney has consistently opposed enacting health insurance mandates at the federal level, Gingrich can't say the same. He has repeatedly backed federal individual mandates throughout his career; in particular, during a 2009 conference call following a White House press conference on health care, Gingrich expressed optimism toward the reform process and spoke about the need to require everyone to have health insurance, which was "the general model we're going to be advocating" that eventually became ObamaCare. Mission accomplished!

The only real point in Gingrich's favor is that he admits he was wrong, whereas Romney has dug in his heels. However, accepting that Gingrich's reversal is sincere rather than opportunistic would be a courtesy Gingrich hasn't extended to Romney, and Obama certainly wouldn't extend any such courtesy to Gingrich.Scissors-32x32.png

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