Iowa: GOP Presidential Debate Turns Up Campaign Heat
With the Iowa caucuses fast approaching, new political ads are hitting the airwaves, and Saturday night's debate draws lots of fact-checking by news organzations.
The Washington Post: Four Spots From The GOP Ad Wars In Iowa
After months of near-silence, the ad wars began in earnest last week. In Iowa, set to vote on Jan. 3, the battle quickly went negative, with Texas Gov. Rick Perry hammering the GOP race's front-runners for supporting an individual mandate on health insurance and Rep. Ron Paul (Tex.) throwing the kitchen sink at former House speaker Newt Gingrich (Weiner, 12/11).
USA Today: Fact Check: GOP Debate In Iowa
False and misleading claims [including claims related to Medicare and the health law] were flying again at the latest Republican presidential candidates' debate in Iowa (Jackson, Kiely, Robertson, Farley and Gore – FactCheck.org, 12/11).
Kaiser Health News: GOP Candidates Dispute Gingrich, Romney Records On Individual Mandate
During Saturday night's debate in Des Moines, the GOP presidential candidates spent a considerable amount of time discussing the 2010 health law. In the debate's most talked-about moment, Mitt Romney offered to bet Rick Perry $10,000 that what Perry was saying about Romney's book wasn't correct. Video and transcripts of the debate segments on health care (12/12).
The Associated Press: Fact Check: Plenty To Question In GOP Debate
Mitt Romney erred in saying Barack Obama was the only president to cut Medicare. ... Obama is at least the third president to sign cuts in Medicare that were passed by Congress. The 1990 budget law signed by Republican President George H.W. Bush raised premiums paid by Medicare beneficiaries and cut payments to hospitals, doctors and other providers. The 1997 balanced budget law signed by Democratic President Bill Clinton scaled back Medicare payments to hospitals, home health agencies, nursing homes and other providers, as well as raising monthly premiums paid by older people (Woodward, 12/12).
The Washington Post: Newt Gingrich's Changing Stance On Health-Care Mandates (Fact Checker Biography)
This column will be the first in a series of five columns this week examining how factual former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has been in describing his past achievements (Hicks, 12/12).
The Fiscal Times: Newt Gingrich: 15 Things You Don't Know About Him
He has flip-flopped on whether the government should impose an individual mandate to buy health insurance or not. In June 2007 he said, "Personal responsibility extends to the purchase of health insurance. Citizens should not be able to cheat their neighbors by not buying health insurance, particularly when they can afford it, and expect others to pay for their care when they need it." By spring of 2011, his tune completely changed (Mackey and Hirsch, 12/12).
Meanwhile, two GOP hopefuls -- Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney -- clash on health care positions.
Des Moines Register: Romney And Gingrich Again Address Past Positions On Health Care
Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney again addressed their past positions on health care when the moderators said a poll of viewers wanted to hear more on the issue. Romney stated a federal mandate on health "flies in the face of the constitution." Gingrich agreed, though it was noted he had supported some form of an individual mandate as recently as seven months ago (Krogstad, 12/10).
Reuters: Republican Romney Hits Gingrich Over Medicare Plan
Republican Mitt Romney hit surging presidential rival Newt Gingrich in Iowa on Friday for attacking a Republican plan to reform Medicare but left the harshest criticism to his campaign surrogates. On a visit to Iowa, which holds the first contest in the Republican nominating race in less than a month, Romney reminded voters Gingrich had attacked U.S. House of Representatives Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's Medicare plan last spring as "right-wing social engineering" (Whitesides, 12/9).
CNN: Team Romney Takes On Gingrich Over Medicare
The Romney campaign stepped up its assault on Newt Gingrich Friday with a web video hitting the former House speaker for going against party orthodoxy in May. Soon after he jumped into the race, Gingrich was asked about his thoughts on a plan proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin to overhaul Medicare. Gingrich called the plan, which would institute voucher accounts for beneficiaries, "right-wing social engineering" (Streifeld, 12/9).
Des Moines Register: Mitt Romney Touches On Difference With Gingrich
Romney, who has fallen behind Gingrich in polls in Iowa and elsewhere, noted that the former House speaker had criticized a plan to give Medicare recipients vouchers to buy private insurance. "This is a place where Speaker Gingrich and I disagree," he said, noting that he generally supports Medicare reform ideas from Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan. Under Ryan's plan, people now younger than 55 would receive vouchers to buy private insurance when they reach retirement age. Romney noted that his plan is a bit different, because his vouchers also could be used to buy into traditional Medicare (Leys, 12/9).
Reuters: Romney Looks To Bounce Back After $10,000 Bet Gaffe
Speaking to reporters after a town hall meeting, Romney made light of the incident on Saturday when he offered to bet Texas Governor Rick Perry $10,000 over what Romney wrote in his book about Massachusetts' controversial healthcare law that he helped engineer as governor. Perry did not take the bait. But Republicans and Democrats alike jumped on Romney, painting the multimillionaire former venture capitalist as out of touch with the concerns of regular Americans (Krasny, 12/11).
Boston Globe: Romney's $10,000 Bet Challenge Sparks Buzz
The comment generated buzz not so much for the substance of the dispute, which stemmed from a passage in the hardcover version of Romney's book "No Apology" that was deleted from the subsequent paperback edition. Romney has written and said that the insurance mandate that was a key component of the 2006 law he signed while Massachusetts governor could be copied by other states. But he has repeatedly argued that he does not support the same component in the federal health care overhaul signed by President Obama in 2010, because it imposes such a mandate on the states (Johnson, 12/11).
Candidate Michele Bachmann also tries to connect Gingrich and Romney to President Barack Obama's health law.
Des Moines Register: Bachmann Ties Gingrich, Romney To 'Obamacare'
Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann on Friday offered her most detailed opposition yet to the federal health care law she refers to derisively as "Obamacare" — and managed to tie it to two of her top GOP rivals. ... Bachmann argued the law would undermine the private insurance industry while exploding costs for government and forcing the collapse of Medicare, the health care system for the elderly (Noble, 12/9).
Boston Globe: Debate Attacks Focus On Newt Gingrich
Romney and Gingrich both came under attack from their opponents over the their support at various times for a mandate that individuals purchase health insurance -- a concept that was once part of Republican orthodoxy but now criticized as government overreach. ... "When you look at Newt Gingrich, for 20 years he's been advocating for the individual mandate in healthcare -- that's longer than Barack Obama," Bachmann said. "Or if you look at Mitt Romney as the governor of Massachusetts, he's the only governor that put into place socialized medicine" (Viser, 12/11).
The Associated Press examines how the White House is deciding high-profile issues in advance of 2012.The Associated Press: Obama Decides High-Profile Issues Ahead Of 2012
The White House denies that politics is at play. But as with any president, some of Obama's most potent campaign tools derive from the powers of his office, from the bully pulpit to decisions on issues that affect people's lives. In the most recent example, Obama's health secretary overruled scientists at the Food and Drug Administration to block sales of the morning-after contraceptive bill Plan B to girls under age 17 without a prescription (Werner, 12/10). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.