Sunday, November 20, 2011

Consultant Gingrich Promoted Freddie Mac, End-Of-Life Care

Recent scrutiny of Newt Gingrich's consultancy business has revealed a contradiction between his activities serving his clients and his professed political positions. Remember when Gingrich said that Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) should be jailed for his association with “a lobbyist who was close to Freddie Mac”? By that criteria, Gingrich ought to turn himself in for the money he collected from the government-sponsored mortgage company. Gingrich defended himself by saying he worked for Freddie Mac as an "historian":

For roughly six years, Newt Gingrich worked closely with high-level officials at the government-sponsored mortgage company Freddie Mac. As a highly paid consultant, he coached them on how to win over the conservatives who consider their company an anathema, spoke to their political action committee and offered general advice as they worked to stave off various threats to Freddie Mac’s survival, several people familiar with his role there said on Wednesday.

...Mr. Gingrich has in recent months been harshly critical of those who have worked with Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae...

Gingrich’s hypocrisy also extended to his health care clients. As a consultant, he promoted one client's efforts toward end-of-life care. When conservatives raised the absurd cry against so-called “death panels,” Gingrich joined the chorus:

Writing on the Web site of The Washington Post, Mr. Gingrich praised Gundersen Lutheran Health System of LaCrosse, Wis., for its successful efforts to persuade most patients to have “advance directives,” saying that if Medicare had followed Gundersen’s lead on end-of-life care and other practices, it would “save more than $33 billion a year.”

...shortly after Mr. Gingrich wrote his article praising Gundersen, he joined the conservative critics of the provision. “You are asking us to trust turning power over to the government,” Mr. Gingrich told George Stephanopoulos of ABC News that August “when there are clearly people in America who believe in establishing euthanasia, including selective standards.”

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