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Gingrich Gives His Take on Health Care Overhaul

Newt Gingrich signs books after his talk in Akron.
Newt Gingrich signs books after his talk in Akron.

Gingrich said that a few months ago, when he first got the invite to speak in Akron, he thought he’d be talking about a health plan that had already passed congress. Instead, health care overhaul is stalled and Republicans are resurgent following Scott Brown’s special election senate win in Massachusetts. President Obama plans a bipartisan summit next week to try to restart the process and Gingrich said both sides should come in with something to offer.

GINGRICH: Neither side should be afraid. Obama should have the courage to give up the 4500 pages of legislation. Say, I got it, the country doesn’t want it, what can we do together? And, the Republicans should go in the room with the Reagan model of trust but verify. And, they should say, look, here are the 9 or 12 positive things we believe in and we will help pass any of these that you’re willing to do.

Gingrich said he’d prefer to reform health care through a number of smaller, incremental bills, instead of doing it all at once in congress. The former speaker was invited to Akron by the Northeast Ohio Health Underwriters Association, a health insurance lobbying group.

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CLARIFICATION: After this story aired, the Northeast Ohio Health Underwriters Association took issue with our characterization of the group as a “lobbying” organization. NEOHUA Trustee Joe Blasko Jr. says the Northeast Ohio Health Underwriters Association is an education and advocacy group made up of insurance professionals working to support its members and their clients. They are not paid lobbyists, but do occasionally engage in lobbying activities.