Any politically savvy reader will no doubt recall the instant notoriety bestowed upon Newt Gingrich for hoping that "Medicare would wither on the vine". Oh, how he hated old, sick people. The evil SOB. The problem is however, that it was all a cunning and effective lie propagated by Big Labor over a decade ago.
In 1995, then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich delivered a speech to Blue Cross regarding health care and the Clinton's designs on it. During the campaign for Bill Clinton's reelection, the AFL-CIO ran a television ad designed to help Clinton's campaign by demonizing the Republicans, and Gingrich was the poster boy for the union giant. In the fall of 1996, the AFL-CIO ran the ad which began with a voice-over compassionately droning, "When you're older, and you're sick, Medicare is more than health care, it's peace of mind."
The ad immediately cuts to the Blue Cross speech by Gingrich, with a partial excerpt. "Now we don't get rid of it in round one because we think that's politically smart and we don't think that's the right way to go through a transition. But we believe it's going to wither on the vine." But Gingrich wasn't doing his best impersonation of the fabled greedy, mustachioed landlord, twisting his facial hair while giddily tossing mothers and hungry children out of their homes. Here's the full context of Newt's comment on Medicare:
"What do you think the health care financing administration is? It's a centralized command bureaucracy. It's everything we're telling Boris Yeltsin to get rid of. Now we don't get rid of it in round one because we don't think that's politically smart and we don't think that's the right way to go through a transition. But we believe it's going to wither on the vine because we think people are going to voluntarily leave it. Voluntarily."It was a very effective ploy, as I know people who still despise Gingrich to this day because of that misrepresentation. The DNC took the approach a step further during George W. Bush's administration with cartoon commercials showing the President pushing old people in wheelchairs down a flight of stairs. Charming.
Current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi today peeled the wrapping off of 1,990 pages of the same poison pill that Gingrich warned us of, and House Minority Leader John Boehner promptly referred to it as "1,990 pages of bureaucracy". CNN interviewed Congressman Mike Pence for the Republican reaction, and he was equally dismayed. See the video below.
Perhaps the reason for the Democrats' unveiling of this monstrosity being closed to the public - on the West side of the Capitol which is traditionally open to the public - is the direct result of this past summer's town hall meetings, when it was mostly Democrats on the receiving end of constituents' blistering outrage.
The only good news is that there will a period of roughly a week for House members to peruse this massive tome before a vote moves to the floor. I hope the Republicans along with moderate Democrats use this time wisely and develope a serious insurgency to put a stop to its passage. If not, it won't be Medicare withering on the vine. It will be American liberty. Sphere: Related Content