Gingrich Addresses Medicare Part D, Subsidy Support

by Katrina Trinko

Newt Gingrich talked to Glenn Beck this morning in a wide-ranging interview, including addressing a comment he had previously made that he was a “Teddy Roosevelt Republican”:

That depends on which phase of Roosevelt you’re talking about. The 1912, he’s become a big government, centralized power advocate running an a third party candidate which, for example, Roosevelt advocated the Food and Drug Act after he was eating — and this supposedly the story, after he was eating sausage and eggs while reading up to Sinclair’s The Jungle, which has a scene in which a man falls into a vat at the sausage factory and becomes part of the sausage. And if you go back to that era where people had — dealing with the Chinese where the people had doctored food, they had put all sorts of junk in food, they — you know, I as a child who lived in Europe and I always marveled at the fact that American water is drinkable virtually anywhere.

 

So there are minimum regulatory standards of public health and safety that are I think really important.

Explaining why he supports some subsidies:

Well, it depends on what you’re subsidizing. The idea of having economic incentives for manufacturing goes back to Alexander Hamilton’s first report of manufacturing which I believe was 1791. We have always had a bias in favor of investing in the future. We built the transcontinental railroads that way. The Erie Canal was built that way. We’ve always believed that having a strong infrastructure and having a strong energy system are net advantages because they’ve made us richer and more powerful than any country in the world. But what I object to is subsidizing things that don’t work and things that aren’t creating a better future.

On his support for Medicare Part D:

Which also included Medicare Advantage and also included the right to have a high deductible medical savings account, which is the first step towards moving control over your health dollars back to you. And I think is a very important distinguishing point. … If we say to you we’re going to pay for open heart surgery but we won’t pay for Lipitor so you can avoid open heart surgery, it’s both bad (inaudible) but it’s also just bad financially.

On his “right wing social engineering comment” on Meet the Press this May:

What I was asked was if a program is unpopular, should the Republicans impose it anyway. We can go back and we can listen to exactly what I was asked on that show and what I said I stand by, which is in a free society, you don’t elect officials to impose on you things that you disagree with. We just went through this slide over ObamaCare.

Now, I also, ironically, I would implement the Medicare reforms that Paul Ryan wants, I would implement them next year as an optional choice and I would allow people to have the option to choose premium support and then have freedom to negotiate with their doctor or their hospital in a way that would increase their ability to manage costs without being involved, you know — but I wouldn’t impose it on everybody across the board.

On his past beliefs regarding climate change:

Well, I never believed in Al Gore’s fantasies and, in fact, if you look at the record, the day that Al Gore testified at the Energy and Commerce Committee in favor of cap and trade, I was the next witness and I testified against cap and trade. And in the Senate, I worked through American solutions to help beat the cap and trade bill.

Full transcript here.