Last night on Fox News, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich joined some of his colleagues on the fringe right and urged the GOP to make repealing health reform the “number one” campaign issue in 2010 and 2012:
GINGRICH: Let me make a straightforward promise. These bills can’t be implemented before 2013. If they pass a bill which is a disaster the number one campaign issue in 2010 and 2012 is going to be repeal the bill.
We repealed the catastrophic health legislation that was a disaster. We can repeal this monstrosity. If they’re determined to put something bad in the country, the country can rise up, defeat the people who do it and repeal it.
Gingrich is referring to the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act of 1988 which was repealed a year after it passed because it raised seniors’ Medicare premiums disproportionately to pay for benefit expansions.
But the former House Speaker may have a tough time getting the “repeal” theme on current reform measures to stick. A new ABC/Washington Post poll out today finds that 57 percent of Americans support reform proposals currently before Congress that would include a government-run insurance plan to compete with private insurance to bring costs down — part of health care reform that Gingrich presumably feels would be a “disaster.” In fact, more Americans would rather have a bill with a public option that one “that is approved with support from Republicans in Congress.”
Gingrich has signed onto the right’s fringe movement, led by Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Tom Price (R-GA), and Joe Barton (R-TX), to repeal health care reform if it ultimately becomes law. “[A]fter we defund the left, we pass repealer bill after repealer bill after repealler bill,” Bachmann recently boasted.