Sunday, November 20, 2011

Health Care Companies Paid $37 Million for "Access" to Newt Gingrich

I'll say one thing for Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich: the man has more gall than you would have thought it possible for any single human being to have. Whatever else you might have thought about Obamacare (as I've said before, I consider it a corporate-giveaway boondoggle), the whole thing was driven by a desire to address the spiraling costs of health care in this country. One side issue that doesn't get examined nearly enough is WHY are health care costs of control? Perhaps part of the problem lies with WHO is getting paid, as reported Thursday in the Washington Post:
A think tank founded by GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich collected at least $37 million over the past eight years from major health-care companies and industry groups, offering special access to the former House speaker and other perks, according to records and interviews.

The Center for Health Transformation, which opened in 2003, brought in dues of as much as $200,000 per year from insurers and other health-care firms, offering some of them “access to Newt Gingrich” and “direct Newt interaction,” according to promotional materials. The biggest funders, including firms such as AstraZeneca, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Novo Nordisk, were also eligible to receive discounts on “products and workshops” from other Gingrich groups.
Given Gingrich's past sexual escapades, "direct Newt interaction" has an unfortunate connotation I don't think the author of this piece intended. I'm sorry, but one man's "access" is another man's "bribes." The health care companies were bribing Gingrich to push their agenda, plain and simple. And what was that agenda, exactly?
The health center advocated, among other things, requiring that “anyone who earns more than $50,000 a year must purchase health insurance or post a bond,” a type of insurance mandate that has since become anathema to conservatives.

The group also pushed proposals to build centralized electronic medical records and use such data to research treatment effectiveness, both central features of President Obama’s health-care reforms.
So in essence, Gingrich was given $37 million in bribes to push for...drumroll please...Obamacare!

And yet, here is how the Newster has positioned himself on the campaign trail:
Gingrich has clashed with other Republican presidential candidates over his evolving positions on health-care issues. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, whose own state health-care reform plan was a model for Obama’s national approach, attacked Gingrich at one debate: “We got the idea of an individual mandate from you!”

The Gingrich health center’s support for such a mandate was part of an “Insure All Americans” plan that appears to have disappeared from the center’s Web site Thursday.

Gingrich has characterized his previous support for insurance mandates as a response to President Bill Clinton’s more government-focused health-care proposal in the 1990s, and he has said he turned against the idea.

“I am completely opposed to the Obamacare mandate on individuals,” he says in a recent campaign video. “I fought it for 2&1/2 years at the Center for Health Transformation.”
The amazing thing here, of course, is not that Newt engaged in the same same kind of legalized corruption as do all major politicians, especially after they leave office and "cash in" on their service, but that he has the audacity to then turn around and run for president and campaign against the exact same thing he was bribed to help implement. That this thoroughly corrupt little toad just rocketed to the top of the polls for the Republican presidential nomination shows exactly how hopeless the whole political system has become. Welcome, to third world America.


  1. Damn, Bill, I wish you had a FB share button on your posts. I have relatives who actually want to vote for this odious little toad. Now he's come up with this plan Maybe we should test that one on the rich kids first. If they find cleaning up their classmate's puked up pizza and squashed jellybeans fulfilling, then we could fire the union janitors and put the poor kids to work cleaning the schools.

  2. @conflicteddoomer - I'm not on Facebook, but that green "Share This" is supposed to allow the posts to be shared there and elsewhere. At least, that's what they tell me. :)

  3. Look up 'smarmy' in the dictionary and there is a picture of 'ol Newt. Come to think of it, his picture is there when I look up asshole.

  4. @John D - along with a few other choice words I could think of. :)

  5. I used a part of your blog in my blog. No sense in recreating the wheel ;-)

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