As if Mitt Romney wasn’t having enough trouble pretending that he didn’t really mean it when he passed a universal healthcare plan in Massachusetts, now it comes out that Newt Gingrich praised that plan in 2006 and wanted a similar plan passed nationally. Politico has the quote from a Wall Street Journal article that is behind a paywall:
“The health bill that Governor Romney signed into law this month has tremendous potential to effect major change in the American health system,” said an April 2006 newsletter published by Mr. Gingrich’s former consulting company, the Center for Health Transformation.
The two-page “Newt Notes” analysis, found online by The Wall Street Journal even though it no longer appears on the center’s website, continued: “We agree entirely with Governor Romney and Massachusetts legislators that our goal should be 100% insurance coverage for all Americans.”
Mr. Gingrich’s rise to the top of the field has come in part from his bashing Mr. Romney for engineering a state health-care expansion that became a model for President Barack Obama’s 2010 health law. “Your plan essentially is one more big-government, bureaucratic, high-cost system,” Mr. Gingrich told Mr. Romney during an October debate in Las Vegas. He said Mr. Romney was trying to solve Massachusetts’ health-care problems “from the top down.”
And he specifically endorsed the individual mandate:
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. We agree strongly with this principle, but the details are crucial when it comes to the structure of this plan.
And the punchline to all of this is that Newt’s campaign is now claiming that he didn’t write those things, that even though it was called “Newt notes,” he didn’t write it. And here’s Newt criticizing Ron Paul for claiming that he didn’t write his own newsletters:
It’s really quite amusing watching the Republicans pretend that they didn’t say the things they said in previous years now that they’re trying to appease the Tea Party. The individual mandate was a conservative idea from the start and it came from the Heritage Foundation. But they can’t admit that because their voters now believe that Obama invented the idea in order to turn America into the second coming of the Third Reich. This is a lot of fun to watch.