Obamacare

Newt Gingrich: An Expert On What Makes Libertarians Happy?

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He's totally been to Libertopia.

Back in 2005, Newt Gingrich wrote a book titled Winning the Future, which more recently has been transformed into an Obama administration catchphrase. The WTF title wasn't the only thing that President Obama decided to lift from the thriller-loving ideas man: As Sam Stein noted last week, the book included explicit support for a health care overhaul that "requires everyone to participate in the insurance system"—what we now know as an individual mandate.

Does he still support the mandate? Unlike Mitt Romney, Gingrich's support of the mandate isn't tied to a major legislative achievement, so it would theoretically be easier for him to back down. But on Meet the Press yesterday, Gingrich said he was still down with requiring everyone to buy insurance. He said he still supports a "variation" on the individual mandate.

"I believe all of us have a responsibility to help pay for health care," he said. "We ought to have some requirement that you either have health insurance or post a bond." Might that anger a political base that is deeply opposed to both ObamaCare and the individual mandate? Not at all, says Newt: "There are ways to do it that make most libertarians relatively happy."

Uh-huh. That's nice. But somehow, I am skeptical that Newt Gingrich qualifies as any kind of expert on what will make libertarians happy when it comes to health policy. So I asked someone who is: Michael Cannon, the Director of Health Policy Studies at the Cato Institute, the nation's largest libertarian think tank. Here's Cannon's response:

"Are you sure he said libertarians? Because it seems like he meant leftists. Regardless, I invite Newt to come to the Cato Institute so he can explain to people who actually care about freedom just how happy he's going to make us."

Maybe what he meant was that, er, well, actually he doesn't support the mandate? Here's what Gingrich said in a video released earlier today:

"I am completely opposed to the Obamacare mandate on individuals…I fought it for two and half years at the Center for Health Transformation. You can see all the things we did to stop it at HealthTransformation.net. I am for the repeal of Obamacare and I am against any effort to impose a federal mandate on anyone because it is fundamentally wrong and I believe unconstitutional."

Federal mandates? Terrible! State mandates? Um…

NEXT: Club For Growth Predicts President Newt Would Bring "Serious Disappointments and Unevenness"

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  1. What happened to the comments?

    1. Nevermind. Same picture. Different damned article about Newt.

      NEWT!

  2. Dear Reason,

    Please stop wasting time on this useless windbag. Thank you in advance of your efforts.

    Best,
    The Gobbler

  3. One thing Newkular T can do to make libertarians happy:

    Disappear, already.

    1. Either that or the name change. I’m on record that I will vote for him if he legally becomes Newcular Titties.

  4. caption: Heeeey, Abbott!

    1. I HATE that guy…

    2. “Pull my finger!”

  5. Gingrich’s support of the mandate isn’t tied to a major legislative achievement,

    You forgot the irony quotes around “achievement”.

  6. Gingrich walked back his individual mandate stance? Next up: photo-op with his arm around Paul Ryan.

  7. The picture is a vivid lesson that talking out both sides of your mouth can cause soreness of the jaw.

  8. Still think the alt-text should allude to Newt’s philandering. I even offered a hypothetical one worth stealing. It just makes sense damnit

    1. well FML. Right after I propose new alt-text, the picture changes.

      Although the new picture could still be philandering related.

      1. The new pic’s caption: “Smell my finger”.

  9. The sad thing is that after years of compassionate conservativism Conservatives bowing to the whims their constituents and voter block is actually an improvement for Republicans.

  10. Ever notice he looks like he could be Garrison Keillor’s brother?

  11. I’d bet 2:1 that this douchebag pulls an Edwards/Hart at sometime during the campaign.

    That alone should make him fun to watch.

  12. “As Sam Stein noted last week, the book included explicit support for a health care overhaul that “requires everyone to participate in the insurance system”?what we now know as an individual mandate.”

    Thank you for reminding people of this. I hope it kills his campaign before it gets off the ground.

  13. “There are ways to do it that make most libertarians relatively happy.”

    A simple gunshot to the head would be satisfactory.

  14. Well, fuck. Another election coming up, which means more bullshit from Republicans trying to convince me that I should vote for them because, hey, they’re sorta libertarian! They’re for smaller government, they really really really mean it this time!

    Word to the wise: save your breath.

  15. Ok, we figured out that Trump’s fake candidacy was all a publicity ploy for his crappy TV show. What’s Newt’s angle? Does he have another book on the way or something? Because I can’t figure out his fake candidacy, otherwise.

  16. doesn’t newt know that health care mandates are just a form of slavery!

    did you hear that? slavery!

  17. “Are you sure he said libertarians? Because it seems like he meant leftists. Regardless, I invite Newt to come to the Cato Institute so he can explain to people who actually care about freedom just how happy he’s going to make us.”

    That quote is full of win!

  18. “I believe all of us have a responsibility to help pay for health care,” he said. “We ought to have some requirement that you either have health insurance or post a bond.”

    Newt Gingrich’s “think tank”, the Center for Health Transformation includes the following charter members:

    AstraZeneca (Pharmaceuticals)
    BlueCross BlueShield Association (Insurance)
    Booz Allen Hamilton (Consultancy group for several medical companies)
    Cancer Treatment Centers of America (Healthcare business)
    DaimlerChrysler (Health insurance through Daimler BKK)
    Ford Motor Company
    Gallup Organization (mangement consulting and human resources)
    GE Healthcare (Medical equipment)
    General Motors Corporation
    GlaxoSmithKline (Pharmaceuticals)
    Healthways (Disease managment)
    MedImpact (Healthcare systems)
    Novo Nordisk (Pharmaceuticals)
    Sanford (Healthcare systems)
    SHPS (Healthcare systems)
    Siemens (medical equipment)
    Sutter Health (healthcare systems)
    UnitedHealth Group (Healthcare systems)
    ValueOptions (HMO)

    Now I wonder why Newt would want people to be required by law to buy health insurance or post a bond…

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