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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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    SmokeVanThorn | December 27, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    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.

      hstad in reply to SmokeVanThorn. | December 27, 2011 at 2:54 pm

      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.

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