Tags: gingrich | health | care

Gingrich: Obama Health Plan Doomed by Taxes

Saturday, 11 Jul 2009 05:15 PM

By Jim Meyers

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Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich tells Newsmax that President Barack Obama's healthcare plan will lead to a "red-tape-ridden" national insurance program — and says having bureaucrats make decisions on people's healthcare is "profoundly wrong."

He also predicted that Democrats won't be able to pass the healthcare plan by Congress's August recess because Americans won't stand for the massive tax increases it will entail.

Gingrich, a 10-term congressman, served as speaker from 1995 to 1999 and was co-author of 1994's Contract with America that helped Republicans gain a majority in the House for the first time in 40 years.

See Video: Newt Gingrich discusses healthcare reform - Click Here Now

Since leaving the House in 1999, he has founded the think tank American Solutions for Winning the Future, and the Center for Health Transformation (healthtransformation.net), which focuses on healthcare reform.

In an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV's Ashley Martella, Gingrich discussed the Democrats' stated aim of having healthcare legislation passed by the August recess.

"I think it's clear that [passage is] getting harder and harder as they look at the massive tax increase that their plan would take, and as they look at how deep the disagreement is, even within the Democratic Party, between those who are worried about the deficit and worried about the economy and those who want to move toward a government-run health plan at any cost.

"And I think that tension is going to get bigger, not smaller, so I'm very doubtful that they could pass this bill before the August recess."

Martella noted that Democrats appear intent on including some form of tax increase in the overall healthcare legislation, and asked for Gingrich's view.

"I think it's very odd that you have a general agreement that we spend too much money on healthcare, almost 17 percent of the largest economy in the world — well over $2.6 trillion a year — and their answer is to cut costs by increasing spending," Gingrich said. "I've never heard of a way you cut costs by raising spending.

"They're talking about adding maybe $1 trillion of additional spending over the next 10 years. If you're going to do that you have to have massive tax increases.

"I think they're just beginning to confront how big those tax increases will be, and I don't think the American people will stand for it, in this economy, with nine-and-a-half percent unemployment and indications that it's going to go up even higher. I think people want a focus on creating jobs, not on raising taxes."

Martella observed that Obama and congressional liberals are also intent on including some form of government-run health insurance program in the overall package.

Gingrich responded: "First of all, at the Center for Health Transformation we have established a petition drive that says if they do pass a public plan, that every member of Congress and every congressional staffer should be required to get their health insurance in that public plan.

"If they're going to impose something on the rest of us, they ought to have to suffer with the same thing they're trying to do to us.

"Second, as a principle we are deeply opposed to that kind of public plan because it's frankly the first step toward a national health insurance program like Britain or Canada.

"The fact is, the government will cheat. The government will subsidize and create special rules. The government will enroll people automatically. They will inevitably crowd out every private sector competitor, and we'll end up with the whole country in a bureaucratic-led, government-run, red-tape-ridden system.

"We believe it's much better to give people the ability, through tax credits, through vouchers, and through tax deductions, to buy health insurance, but to have a competitive market with many different choices so you are in control of your healthcare."

Martella asked if Gingrich could cite any government-run healthcare system that the U.S. could look to as a successful model.

"No," Gingrich stated. "I think people who have experienced the kind of long waiting lines, the lack of access to specialized care, the lack of access to the most modern drugs and the most modern technology, generally feel that while there are many things we should do to improve the American system, going to a government bureaucratic model is not one of them."

As for the healthcare rationing that many opponents of a government-run system fear, Gingrich declared:

"I think the basic moral principle of having a bureaucrat decide what your mother or your daughter or your granddaughter should get in healthcare is profoundly wrong.

"The bureaucrat has no risk involved. They can make cruel and arbitrary decisions."

Gingrich said his bipartisan organization has been talking to both Democratic and Republican members of Congress about healthcare reform, and added: "We really believe it's possible to put together a coalition of common sense, practical people who want to get to a bipartisan solution."

See Video: Newt Gingrich discusses healthcare reform - Click Here Now

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