Gingrich in 2009 conference call strongly supported “must carry,” i.e., the individual mandate

I just came upon this devastating audio at the site Race 4 2012:

So now we know that Gingrich is strongly for amnesty in a yet to be determined but still wide open form, and is strongly for the idea that all individuals in America must purchase health insurance. How could anyone believe, after listening to this, that he will exert any serious effort to get Obamacare repealed? And how are Gingrich’s supporters going to reply to this? Will they say that the pro-individual mandate, pro-amnesty Newt Gingich is still their choice, because he’s more, uh, conservative than Mitt Romney?

I’ve said all along that Gingrich lacks a stable self, and that the more incendiary and/or conservative his words sound, the less meaning and reality they have. This would seem to apply to everything he has said in the campaign about his commitment to repeal Obamacare.

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Alexis Zarkov writes:

Listen carefully to the Gingrich audio, which sounds edited. If I understand him correctly, then his “must carry” includes the opportunity to opt out by posting a bond. If the bond would pay interest equal to its opportunity cost (around 4 percent per year) then there is no forced purchase. The bond would need to equal the average cost of an emergency room visit, which I’ll guess is less than $2,000. This would make Gingrich’s “must carry” fundamentally different from the mandate, which forces every resident to buy insurance from a private company with no opportunity to opt out. Most people could then avoid government mandated insurance, and stick with what they have now. Of course Obamacare is much more than the mandate, and it includes all sorts of new control over the medical insurance industry such as the coverage of preexisting conditions.

LA replies:

Fair enough. However, I’ve read elsewhere (was it Coulter’s article linked above?) that Gingrich favored the principle of Obamacare until last May.

Yes, here it is. Coulter writes:

But Gingrich did more than support Romneycare. As former senator Rick Santorum has pointed out, Gingrich supported a FEDERAL individual mandate to purchase health insurance from 1993 until five minutes ago—i.e., at least until a “Meet the Press” appearance just last May.
Alexis Zarkov replies:

Coulter does make that charge, but she provides no evidence.

Most of her essay tries to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear by trying to convince the reader that Romney is really a conservative. [The rest of Mr. Zarkov’s comment is posted in a new entry, “What’s wrong with Coulter’s case for Romney.”]

Buck O. writes:

I believe that the kind of “bond” suggested here, will not pay interest. A person will not own it, nor will they get a return. In fact, they will get none of their money back. It is not an investment.

I’ve been bonded every year for more than twenty years by the state of Maryland. The cost of the bond is an undisclosed portion of my contractors license fee. Nary a penny has been returned or credited to me, even though there has never been a claim against me, or against the overwhelming majority of contractors. Our money goes into a pool for the purpose of compensating defrauded consumers. I’m sure that Newt’s “bonding” scheme would work the same way. I do not have a choice.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at January 29, 2012 09:36 PM | Send

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