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Patrick Kennedy Needles Newt Gingrich over RI Visit (posted
June 22, 2004)
Congressman Patrick Kennedy needled his luncheon keynote speaker, former
U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, at a conference "Transforming Health
Care Delivery for the 21st Century" jointly organized by Brown University
and Kennedy's congressional office.
In introducing his former political adversary, Kennedy laughed that
following a joint press conference attended by Gingrich and his brother
Ted Kennedy Jr., photographers took pictures of Gingrich with a Kennedy
on each side. Kennedy joked that if Gingrich didn't do the right thing,
he would "release the photo to the Republican party."
For his part, Gingrich joined in the banter. Following Kennedy's introduction,
Gingrich laughed that Kennedy might have some explaining to do to current
Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi over why he had invited Gingrich to his
health care conference
It turns out the one issue on which Kennedy and Gingrich agree is the
importance of health care information technology. Gingrich has been
traveling the country trying to sell the idea of how technology can
improve medical service while also cutting costs. Gingrich's speech
provided lots of examples of how technology is transforming health care.
The largely Democratic audience gave him an enthusiastic round of applause
at the end of his speech.
The speech was attended by Lt. Governor Charles Fogarty, former Attorney
General Sheldon Whitehouse, and practitioners in the health care area.