Romney, Obama On The Attack

GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney used a TV appearance to take on rival candidate Newt Gingrich regarding a range of policy and political issues. Meanwhile, aides to President Barack Obama blasted Romney for shying away from the similarities between Massachusetts' health reforms and the 2010 health law. Negative ads also flood the Iowa airwaves.

Reuters: Romney Goes On TV To Attack Gingrich
Presidential candidate Mitt Romney unloaded on rival Republican Newt Gingrich on Tuesday on a liberal television network, comparing him to former candidate Herman Cain and others who have led the field briefly before flaming out... Romney criticized Gingrich for remarks he made about Republican Representative Paul Ryan's plan to privatize the Medicare healthcare program for the elderly and an ad he made about global warming with former Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Youngman, 12/20).

Boston Globe: Aides To Barack Obama Blast Mitt Romney
[Obama for America Campaign Manager Jim] Messina also tried to counter Romney's claim that his health care overhaul in Massachusetts is different from Obama's overhaul nationally. Romney has stood by the Massachusetts plan, while saying he would repeal Obama's. "Governor Romney's former health care policy advisers have been very clear his plan laid the groundwork for national health care reform,” Messina said. "We don't understand why Mitt Romney would run away from what was supposed to be his signature accomplishment in Massachusetts" (Schoenberg, 12/20).

The Associated Press: Negative Ads Mix With Holiday Cheer In Iowa
Iowa residents flipping their TV channels this season aren't finding a whole lot of Christmas cheer. A barrage of negative campaign ads is flooding the airwaves, with ghoulish images of Newt Gingrich and Nancy Pelosi crowding Santa and doomsday music drowning out holiday song... Texas Gov. Rick Perry is slamming Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, for supporting an individual health care mandate that formed the basis of President Barack Obama's health care law (Fouhy, 12/20).

Also in the headlines, reports on the health positions offered by Gingrich and Rick Perry.

MinnPost/MedCity News: Newt Vs. Newt: Gingrich's Evolving Views On Health Care
Newt Gingrich is (or was, depending on your perspective) the latest flavor of the month in the run for the GOP presidential nomination. With Gingrich's supporters often casting him as a font of policy wisdom, it's fair to wonder exactly what the American healthcare system would look like under a Gingrich presidency. For some clues that go beyond the broad, soundbite-like statements on Gingrich's campaign website, we examine some of his recent and (not-so-recent) statements on three key healthcare issues: federal health reform's individual mandate, electronic health records and comparative effectiveness research (Glenn, 12/20).

Politico Pro: Gingrich Medicaid Demo Similar To Ryan Plan
If Newt Gingrich has changed the tone of his comments on Paul Ryan's original Medicare "premium support" plan, his work on state Medicaid reform suggests he'd back similar market-based reforms of public programs if elected president. Gingrich and his Center for Health Transformation were active in helping to design a Medicaid waiver pushed through by then-Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in 2005. It allows beneficiaries to choose from a menu of private Medicaid managed care plans, and the state limits its spending to the cost of each beneficiary’s plan instead of having an open-ended entitlement (Feder, 12/21).

Des Moines Register: Texas Gov. Rick Perry Makes Strong Pitch For States' Rights In Davenport Speech
Texas Gov. Rick Perry made a strong pitch for states' rights in a campaign speech Tuesday night, saying the federal government has become too powerful and too central in the lives of Americans... After finishing his stump speech, Perry was asked by a woman in the audience why Texas ranks at the bottom in the nation for children who don't have health insurance. He replied that's because Texas has chosen to have that type of a health care delivery system, unlike Massachusetts, which has chosen to force everyone to buy health insurance (Petroski, 12/20).

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