DES MOINES, Iowa — Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich once praised the healthcare law enacted in Massachusetts by then-Gov. Mitt Romney.
In an April 2006 memo, the former House speaker called the law "the most exciting development of the past few weeks," The Associated Press reported. Gingrich also said it has "tremendous potential to effect major change in the American health system."
But Gingrich and others have argued that the law, widely seen as the model for President Barack Obama's national health overhaul, undercuts Romney's conservative credentials, AP said.
And in a recent interview with Newsmax, Gingrich took aim at both Obama's and Romney's healthcare programs.
"I am for the repeal of Obama Care and I think, frankly, Romney Care was a step in exactly the wrong direction because it was a big imposition top down of bureaucratically managed," Gingrich told Newsmax.
Gingrich has also faced questions about his past support for an individual healthcare mandate, hated by conservatives.
A Gingrich spokesman noted that the memo, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, also criticized the law. The also spokesman told AP said time has shown that the plan doesn't work.
Gingrich told Newsmax that the United States must recenter the system on the patient and the doctor so patients are aware of their choices, the costs and which choice fits them best.
"If it’s your mother or your daughter or your wife or your uncle you don’t want to be told gee the bureaucracy doesn’t have any money. You want to be told that this is what we’re going to do to save their lives," Gingrich told Newsmax. "So first you have to build a system to save lives. You have to recenter the system on the patient and the doctor. This not only means not only less government bureaucracy but less private sector bureaucracy, less insurance company bureaucracy."
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