Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) is using "Sopranos-style" tactics to intimidate health insurance companies, Newt Gingrich claimed today.

Referring to Waxman's new investigation into health insurance companies' lavish spending, Gingrich argued that the California Democrat is trying to force insurance companies to accept Democratic healthcare reform.

"Like a mafia underboss trying to face down a rival crime family, the powerful California Democratic chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee has resorted to ugly intimidation tactics with opponents of government-run health care," Gingrich wrote in the Washington Examiner.

Gingrich said Waxman's "not-so-veiled threat" was "in the spirit of Joe McCarthy."

"Americans know the public option is declining rapidly in support, and Waxman and Stupak know that we know it," Gingrich continued. "That's why they've resorted to Sopranos-style tactics with health insurance companies."