ABC's Misleading Headline: "Gingrich ’06 Memo: 'Agree Entirely With Gov. Romney' on Health Care"

ABC's Jonathan Karl Tuesday published a piece now prominently featured at the Drudge Report with a headline guaranteed to be the Obama-loving media's lead story concerning something Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich wrote over five years ago: "Gingrich ’06 Memo: 'Agree Entirely With Gov. Romney' on Health Care."

Inside the actual document uncovered by BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kaczynski, the former Speaker didn't "agree entirely with Gov. Romney" at all (emphasis added):

While in theory the plan should be affordable if the whole state contributes to the cost, the reality is that Massachusetts has an exhaustive list of health coverage regulations prohibiting insurers from offering more basic, pared-down policies with higher deductibles. (This is yet another reminder that America must establish a cross-state insurance market that gives individuals the freedom to shop for insurance plans in states other than their own.)

In our estimation, Massachusetts residents earning little more than $30,000 a year are in jeopardy of being priced out of the system. In the event that this occurs, Governor Romney will be in grave danger of repeating the mistakes of his predecessor, Mike Dukakis, whose 1988 health plan was hailed as a save-all but eventually collapsed when poorly-devised payment structures created a malaise of unfulfilled promises. We propose that a more realistic approach might be to limit the mandate to those individuals earning upwards of $54,000 per year. 


Does that sound like Gingrich "agree[d] entirely with Gov. Romney?"

Karl's first paragraph said it did: "To conservatives, the biggest strike against Mitt Romney is the health care plan he put in place in Massachusetts, but Newt Gingrich lavished praise on Romney’s plan after it was passed in 2006."

Instead of referencing Gingrich's actual dissent, Karl wrote, "Gingrich had some criticisms of the Massachusetts plan — including what he called the state’s over-regulation of health insurers — but overall, he loved it."

Does this sound like Gingrich "loved it": "Governor Romney will be in grave danger of repeating the mistakes of his predecessor, Mike Dukakis, whose 1988 health plan was hailed as a save-all but eventually collapsed."

If that's love, I hope the newlyweds have attorneys waiting in the wings.

Far more importantly, don't be surprised if the rest of the Obama-loving, Gingrich-hating press similarly gloss over the paragraphs in this memo where the former Speaker expressed serious concern about the plan he supposedly "loved"  and "agree[d] entirely with."

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.