Walk Back Watch: GOP Lawmaker Assures Constituents There Are No Death Panels, Highlights Benefits Of Law

Just days ago, Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) was condemning the “government takeover” of health care, cheering on Tea Party protesters, and denouncing the law’s “special deals” on the floor of the House and on news shows across the country. Kingston joined the Republican effort to repeal the law in Congress and co-sponsored two separate bills to “repeal and replace” the bill.

But yesterday, during a town hall at College of Coastal Georgia in Brunswik, Kingston did what’s quickly becoming a popular trend for Republicans. He walked back from his repeal rhetoric and highlighted some of the benefits of the new law:

Instead Kingston, who had joined all other Republicans in the House in voting against the overhaul, focused on changes he thinks should be made to make it better. He said lawmakers have “unfinished business” and both parties should work together to improve the nation’s health care system….At one point, he assured the crowd there are no “death panels,” a charge made by some conservatives over the course of the year-long debate and echoed by at least one citizen in attendance Wednesday. He also said it is too early to tell if the new law violates the U.S. Constitution.

“There are a lot of things in this bill I think you and I certainly like,” Kingston said and called for more provisions to be added that would “end frivolous lawsuits, which increase medical costs, allow people to purchase insurance across state lines and increase the transparency in cost for medical procedures.” “I think as a practicality you’re going to have trouble repealing the whole deal,” Kingsdale said at a different Town Hall on Monday. “But there ought to be areas where Democrats and Republicans can come together.”


Kingston may be directly acknowledging the centrist nature of the health care bill in his district, while still calling for the act’s repeal to national media. On Sunday, just one day before he admitted that repeal was impractical, Kingston appeared on Fox News to tout the effort.