Gingrich Backed Individual Health Care Mandate

And other big government programs that benefited his clients: NYT
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 16, 2011 9:17 AM CST
Gingrich Backed Individual Health Care Mandate
Newt Gingrich speaks to a group of health care officials at Bethesda Memorial Hospital in Boynton Beach, Fla., Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011 after he visited a patient undergoing hyperbaric treatment.   (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

(Newser) – These days, like most Republicans, Newt Gingrich says he's opposed to the individual mandate in the Democrats' health care reform bill, which forces Americans to hold insurance. But in a May 2009 conference call with health care executives, Gingrich sang a very different tune, the New York Times has learned. "We believe there should be must-carry; that is, everybody should have health insurance," Gingrich said, "or, if you're an absolute libertarian, we would allow you to post a bond."

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Indeed, Gingrich has often supported federal health care initiatives—especially when they benefit clients of his "Center for Health Transformation." He advocated for the Bush administration's expansion of Medicare, and ensured it would cover a new diabetes treatment from one of his clients. He met with Republicans in 2007 to talk them out of blocking SCHIP, which would have harmed numerous center members. And he has fought hard for measures promoting electronic health records—which several center members specialize in—including one in Obama's stimulus bill. (Read more Newt Gingrich stories.)

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