By Kendra Marr
One day after Newt Gingrich acknowledged his past support for requiring people to buy health insurance, the former House Speaker was careful to make clear that he was "completely opposed to the Obamacare mandate on individuals."
"I am for the repeal for Obamacare, and I am against any effort to impose a federal mandate on anyone because it is fundamentally wrong and I believe unconstitutional," he said in the short statement on YouTube, released in the wake of publicity surrounding his remarks Sunday on Meet the Press
During the Sunday interview on "Meet The Press," Gingrich was asked if he agreed with Mitt Romney on the individual mandate.
"Well, I agree that all of us have a responsibility to pay -- help pay for health care," Gingrich responded. "And, I think that there are ways to do it that make most libertarians relatively happy. I've said consistently we ought to have some requirement that you either have health insurance or you post a bond."
Host David Gregory pressed, "But that is the individual mandate, is it not?"
"It's a variation on it," Gingrich said.
The former congressman from Georgia has been on record for nearly two decades as supporting a requirement to purchase health insurance.
During the interview, Gregory played a 1993 clip in which Gingrich said, "I am for people, individuals -- exactly like automobile insurance -- individuals having health insurance and being required to have health insurance."
During a 2006 speech to the Greater Detroit Area Health Council, the Detroit Free Press reported that he advocated that "Americans over a certain income level to buy health insurance or post a bond."
As recent as in a 2007 op-ed in The Des Moines Register, Gingrich wrote that an "Personal responsibility extends to the purchase of health insurance. Citizens should not be able to cheat their neighbors by not buying insurance, particularly when they can afford it, and expect others to pay for their care when they need it."
He added that an "individual mandate is an acceptable option only when the larger health care system has been fundamentally changed," since it would be "unjust" to impose the requirement in a "broken and dysfunctional system."