Newt and the Health Wonks: A Tale of Lust and Power

Michael Millenson

First published 5/13/11 on Kaiser Health News

When former House Speaker Newt Gingrich announced his bid for the GOP presidential nomination, I found myself singing a few bars from¬†Night Moves, Bob Seger’s hard-driving tribute to teenage hormones: “I used her, she used me/But neither one cared./We were gettin’ our share.

“No, this isn’t one more commentary on the Georgia Republican’s checkered marital past. I’m referring to a different relationship, the one between Gingrich and the health policy community. A critical component of the climb back to prominence for a man who inspired nearly as much distrust in his own party as in the opposition was proving he could work harmoniously with those holding differing views on an important policy issue — how to reform U.S. health care.

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