Editorial Boards, Columnists Have Lots To Say About Gingrich And Medicare
The Washington Post: Newt Gingrich's Retreat From The Truth
Newt Gingrich was right - the first time. The former House speaker and current presidential candidate has retreated under a barrage of criticism, but he had two things to say on NBC's "Meet The Press" that were correct even if politically ill-advised. First, the Georgia Republican was right that everyone should have health insurance, as much as the individual mandate has become Republican apostasy. Second, Mr. Gingrich was correct that the Medicare plan promoted by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) represents too much change too quickly - "too big a jump," as Mr. Gingrich put it (5/19).
Related video clip from "Meet The Press": Newt Gingrich On GOP Medicare Plan
The Wall Street Journal: The Medicare Test For President
Any serious GOP presidential candidate must be absolutely clear on this issue. Kicking the can down the road is no longer an option. A candidate who is timid on entitlement reforms is not qualified to be president (Dick Armey and Matt Kibbe, 5/20).
The Washington Post: A Prescription To Fix Medicare
We must make Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (health insurance) work more like Medicare Part D (prescription drug insurance). Doing so would dramatically improve the financial condition of our country and help us meet our commitment to seniors. The prescription drug benefit, passed in 2003 and implemented in 2006, broke ground because it moved away from the traditional Medicare model. Instead of relying on regulated government payments to control costs, the drug benefit relies on cost-conscious consumers selecting drug plans that suit their needs and household budgets (Michael O. Leavitt, 5/19).
The New York Times: We're All Rationers
Certainly telling seniors to buy all their own health care is a complete political (and ethical) non-starter. But telling seniors to pay for more of their own health care - well, it's hard to see how else we can hope to reduce Medicare's fiscal burden. Maybe the premium support/voucher model that the Ryan budget proposes isn't the optimal way to do it. But every other mechanism for serious cost containment leads inexorably to a similar place (Ross Douthat, 5/19).
The Wall Street Journal: The GOP Field: All Talk, No Do
Mr. Gingrich wants a "national conversation" on Medicare that will result in "better outcomes, better solutions, better options." He wants to talk. ... For tens of millions of Americans, whose main beef with today's Washington is that it shirks big issues, this isn't serious. For millions of conservatives it is downright offensive. Mr. Gingrich's talk is undercutting an entire House Republican caucus that had boldly followed Mr. Ryan down a path of principled doing (Kimberley A. Strassel, 5/20).
Des Moines Register: Newt Gingrich To Tap Dance In Medicare Minefield
During a campaign stop in Des Moines on Monday, Gingrich said he probably could have chosen his words a little better, but he insisted Medicare changes needed to be considered slowly and carefully. He said he thinks President Barack Obama will lose a second term in part because he "rammed" health-care reform through despite its unpopularity. He praised Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, saying his budget is courageous. But Gingrich said Medicare is the "most dangerous thing" Ryan is dealing with because it affects every person (Kathie Obradovich, 5/19).
The Sacramento Bee: Health Care Reform Stands Up To Scrutiny
Mit Romney has a problem. As governor of Massachusetts he enacted health care reform virtually identical to the reform that President Barack Obama signed into law in early 2010. To distance himself from that reform, he promised in a speech in Michigan and in a USA Today op-ed that as president he will call on Congress to repeal health care reform. This is a terrible and cynical idea that undermines Romney's own concerns about heath care. Romney did the right thing in 2006 in enacting heath care reform as governor of Massachusetts (Angelo DeSantis, 5/20).
Chicago Tribune: Should You Own Your Genes?
Small companies are beginning to sell genetic profiles online. ... The Food and Drug Administration, the American Medical Association, the large drug manufacturer Genentech, and some congressmen want to make this more difficult to do. They want to strictly regulate direct-to-consumer genetic testing by requiring a doctor's prescription. ... Patients should discuss their results with a physician or genetic counselor, but why should they need anyone's approval to get tested? (Dr.Cory Franklin, 5/20).