KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Latest Development In Gingrich-Ryan Medicare Dust-Up: An Apology

But even as these high-profile Republicans exchange words regarding plans to revamp the Medicare program, NPR reports that in the broader debate, both political parties have a lot at stake and claim an advantage.

Los Angeles Times: Newt Gingrich Still On Defensive After Critique Of GOP's Medicare Plan
Newt Gingrich's presidential candidacy is only days old, and more than a decade after he last campaigned for public office, he's clearly shaking off some rust. On Tuesday, the former House speaker stepped up outreach to conservatives in an attempt to backtrack from comments he made Sunday calling Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) proposed changes to Medicare "right-wing social engineering," as Democrats sought to use his remarks to attack the GOP (Memoli and Oliphant, 5/17).

Politico: Newt Gingrich Apologizes To Paul Ryan
Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich apologized in a telephone call to House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Tuesday afternoon for his remarks on "Meet the Press," where the presidential candidate referred to Ryan's Medicare proposal as "radical change" (Allen, 5/17).

The Hill: Gingrich Apologizes To Ryan For 'Inartful' Medicare Comments
Presidential candidate and former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) has apologized to Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) for his criticism of the Medicare reforms in Ryan's 2012 budget proposal. "The apology centered on the inartful terms," Gingrich spokesman Rick Tyler told The Hill. He said the conversation "went very well." Ryan and Gingrich exchanged emails Monday and Tuesday before speaking Tuesday afternoon, according to Tyler (Goodin, 5/17).

ABC: Gingrich Phones In Apology To Ryan; Says He Hopes They Can 'Work Together'
"I made a mistake and I called Paul Ryan today. He's a very close personal friend, and I said to him, the fact is that I have supported what Ryan's trying to do on the budget," [Newt] Gingrich said on Fox News' On the Record with Greta Van Susteren. "The budget vote is one that I am happy to say I would have voted for, I will defend, and I'd be glad to answer any Democrat who attempts to distort what I said" (Saenz, 5/18).

The Associated Press: Spin Meter: On Health Care, It's Newt Vs. Newt
An official presidential candidate for less than a week, Newt Gingrich already finds himself in hot water with conservatives for suggesting he supports health care mandates while at the same time deriding a Republican budget proposal that would replace Medicare with vouchers. The former House speaker has moved quickly to backtrack, arguing he remains "committed to the complete repeal of Obamacare" and supports state lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of President Barack Obama's signature health care law (McCaffrey, 5/18).

NPR: In Medicare Debate, Both Sides Claim An Edge
One thing Republicans and Democrats have learned in recent years is how to use Medicare to attack the other party. Republicans say Democrats will ruin the program by letting it go bankrupt, while Democrats say the GOP wants to abolish the program altogether (5/18).

MSNBC: For GOP First Termer, A Mix Reaction On Medicare Vote
First-term Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler faced down some catcalls and booing at a two-hour town hall meeting with about 500 constituents Monday night at Skyview High School in Vancouver, Wash. With a crowd that seemed sharply divided between her allies and her opponents, Herrera Beutler calmly explained the budget plan offered by House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan, for which she voted last month. … She added, "This is one solution. It's the only that I've seen come out of Congress." But in her comments to the town hall she signaled openness to debating and modifying Ryan's blueprint: "This is the beginning, not the end of this conversation" (Curry, 5/17).

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