Gingrich: Governors ask the 'able-bodied' to apply for Medicaid because they 'love to give them free money'
Newt Gingrich speaks to ABC News (screen grab)

Appearing on Fox News Sunday, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich(R-GA) attempted to keep alive the prospects of the Republican Senate's health care replacement bill by saying the massive cuts to Medicaid are a good thing because governors love throwing the "free money" around.


Host Chris Wallace pointed out concerns by many in the country that people currently covered under Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act would be left without coverage.

"That is one of the big concerns, that President Obama and the Democrats expanded Medicaid, covered people that weren't previously covered, millions of people got it under there," Wallace explained. "While it is true that it doesn't cut Medicaid, it slows the rate of growth of Medicaid, some people who now have coverage eventually would lose coverage. And in states that didn't expand Medicaid, there's a tremendous concern that they're going to be stuck in an inferior position."

Gingrich stated that he wasn't concerned because Medicaid is currently being abused by the "able-bodied," with the blessing and encouragement of unspecified governors.

"First of all, I'm underwhelmed by governors who love free money," Gingrich asserted. "You have a lot of governors who say, 'oh, we want more of this money.' 90 percent of the cost being picked up by the feds for the expanded part of Medicaid, which, by the way, actually discriminates against, for example, Americans with disabilities because they only get 62 percent of federal funding. And some states have actually re-rigged the game to get more able-bodied adults"

"Second, I would say look at what Mary Mayhew [Maine's Commissioner of Health and Human Services] did where they passed reforms that said if you're an able-bodied adult then you ought to be required to work if you have no children," Gingrich stated. "Medicaid has expanded dramatically into zones it was never designed for. I think the American people would support reforms that had work requirements attached to people who were able-bodied adults."

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