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Newt Gingrich: Ryan Medicare Plan Is 'Too Big A Jump' (VIDEO)

Gingrich

First Posted: 05/15/11 01:27 PM ET Updated: 10/18/11 11:17 PM ET

WASHINGTON -- Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich distanced himself on Sunday from a House GOP plan to make cuts to Medicare, calling it “too big a jump" for the American people.

“What you want to have is a system where people voluntarily migrate to better outcomes, better solutions, better options, not one where you suddenly impose it,” he said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I am against Obamacare imposing radical change, and I would be against a conservative imposing radical change.”

The House GOP budget plan, proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), would effectively turn Medicare into a voucher system in which seniors were given money by the federal government to purchase private insurance, creating a radically different system than the current guaranteed benefit plan for seniors.

Gingrich said he would prefer a system that preserved the current Medicare program and also created a private alternative.

“I don’t think right-wing social engineering is any more desirable than left-wing social engineering,” he said. “I think we need a national conversation to get to a better Medicare solution for seniors."

Ryan, meanwhile, defended his budget plan on Sunday, saying on CNN’s “State of the Union” that he is not backing down from his plan to restructure Medicare.

“We sincerely believe that our budget repairs the safety social net and repairs our economy,” he said. “It is the right vision and we believe it is what Americans want.”

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