White House hopeful Newt Gingrich called the House Republican plan for Medicare “right-wing social engineering,” injecting a discordant GOP voice into the party’s efforts to reshape both entitlements and the broader budget debate.
Later Sunday, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, he also acknowledged that many Republicans are uncomfortable with requiring insurance coverage but challenged them to offer an alternative solution. “Most Republican voters agree with the principle that people have some responsibility to pay for their costs,” he said.
Government enforcing this personal responsibility? Some Tea Party folks see the problem.
In 2012, Mr. Gingrich may find these views problematic in the Republican contests, where a large number of voters view the Obama health plan as Exhibit A in government overreach. A lawsuit brought by mostly GOP governors argues the Obama mandate is unconstitutional.
“I’d like Speaker Gingrich to show me in the Constitution where the government has the right to force people to buy health insurance,” said Debbie Dooley, state coordinator for the Georgia Tea Party Patriots. “That’s going to hurt him among tea party activists, extremely.”