By Shannon McCaffrey, Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich once praised the health care law enacted in Massachusetts by then-Gov. Mitt Romney.

In an April 2006 memo, the former House speaker called the law “the most exciting development of the past few weeks.” Gingrich also said it has “tremendous potential to effect major change in the American health system.”

Gingrich and others have argued that the law, widely seen as the model for President Barack Obama’s national health overhaul, undercuts Romney’s conservative credentials.

Gingrich has also faced questions about his past support for an individual health care mandate, hated by conservatives.

A Gingrich spokesman noted that the memo also criticized the law. The spokesman also said time has shown that the plan doesn’t work.

The memo was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.


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