Ryan: Gingrich 'inaccurate' on Medicare plan

By Staff | May 22, 2011 | 10:28 AM EDT

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks to local party activists, Thursday, May 19, 2011, in Waterloo, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The architect of the House Republican plan for overhauling Medicare says presidential candidate Newt Gingrich's critical description of the proposal was deeply inaccurate and a gross mischaracterization.

Last week Gingrich called Rep. Paul Ryan's Medicare proposal "right-wing social engineering." Gingrich took his words back a few days later after he was criticized by conservatives. Gingrich also called Ryan to apologize.

Ryan, R-Wis., played down the flap when asked about it on NBC's "Meet the Press" and played up his proposal. It essentially calls for a voucher system to help older people buy insurance in the future.

Many Democrats have rejected the proposal, and some Republicans have been wary of endorsing it.

Ryan says it's time to move beyond the Gingrich comments and focus on dealing with the nation's fiscal problems.