Does Newt Gingrich support Paul Ryan’s plan to replace Medicare with coupons? Yes … and no.
Gingrich, who is struggling to find a coherent message (and some coherent money) for his eternal run for president, issued one of his trademark, lengthy manifestoes on Wednesday, lauding the Wisconsin Congressman as a modern day Paul Revere, whose courage and foresight in issuing his “Path to Prosperity” was nothing less than a hammer strike against the very forces of economic tyranny.
By Friday, however, Gingrich had figured out that senior might not like those coupons.
Gingrich on his Facebook page inched away from Ryan’s plan to end Medicare as we know it and give seniors private insurance plans partially subsidized by the federal government. Instead, Gingrich backed an approach more in line with former Congressional Budget Office director Alice Rivlin and former Sen. Pete Domenici that keeps the current form of Medicare but allows seniors to select a private plan if they wish.
“One option is for Congress to move towards a 21st-century personal Medicare system that would allow seniors to choose, on a voluntary basis, a more personal system with greater options for better care,” Gingrich wrote on Wednesday night.
“On entitlement reforms, Paul Ryan has offered his ‘Path to Prosperity’ budget plan which stands in stark contrast to the 2012 budget proposed by the White House earlier this year,” Gingrich wrote. “Unlike Ryan’s plan, President Obama’s budget proposal ignored entitlement spending, which encompasses the largest share of the federal budget. Doing nothing to address the structural gaps in entitlement spending is no longer an option.”
Well okay … but that’s not what Newt said in his manifesto:
CLAIM: “[The House Republican budget is] a vision that says America can’t afford to keep the promise we’ve made to care for our seniors.”
REALITY: The president’s commitment to the status quo will end Medicare, period. According to the non-partisan CBO, Medicare will go bankrupt in nine short years. The president announced in his speech that he would rely on strict limitations on how much care seniors could receive in order to achieve savings. Contrary to the president’s opinion, CBO does not believe this would result in lower costs. Current seniors would receive less care through Medicare against a backdrop of relentlessly rising health care costs.
This stands in sharp contrast to the House Republican Budget, which gives seniors the tools to fight back against rising costs by empowering them in a personalized Medicare program, giving future generations the same kinds of health care choices members of Congress now enjoy.
The “House Republican Budget” IS the Ryan plan — in full and unchanged. So if it was good enough for Newt’s manifesto, which goes out to his mailing list and on the Human Events website, why isn’t it good enough for Facebook?