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Gingrich in Va.: A Republican Congress could defund health care law

Rosalind Helderman

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said he believes there is a 50-50 chance the federal health care reform bill will be fully repealed in 2013, if President Obama is defeated in the 2012 election and Republicans take over Congress.

In the meantime, he said that if a Republican majority takes over the House or Senate in November, he would advise them to defund the initiative and stop reform effort.

"Remember, you don't have to repeal the bill," he said. "You can just have an appropriations rider that says no money can be spent to implement it."

Gingrich's comments came at a health-care industry sponsored conference held by Center for Health Transformation, a project of his consulting firm.

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He spoke alongside Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), who said his administration now believes Virginia will face $1.5 billion in increased Medicaid costs between 2017 and 2022, due to new patients added to the Medicaid rolls as a result of the federal law. He had previously said the law would cost $1.1 billion.

McDonnell also announced he willl soon hire a Health Care Reform Coordinator to help Virginia expand its Medicaid eligibility, plan for new health care exchanges that the law mandates in 2014 and make Virginia's system more affordable.

Gingrich, who has a new book out Monday (It's title--To Save America: Stopping Obama's Secular-Socialist Machine ), argued the federal law has been intentionally designed to encourage businesses to drop health care for their employees, incurring a new fine in the law for not offering insurance. Employees will then enter new individual health exchanges, Gingrich argued, but find them so expensive that they will clamor for a nationalized health care system.

"As they try to implement this it's going to be a mess. It's guaranteed to be a mess," he told reporters after the event. "When people understand that this bill was passed without any full understanding of 2,600 pages, by a group of utterly irresponsible people who had no idea what they were doing--it's like watching your nine-year-old with a credit card--I think you'll find the country hardens against this bill over time."

Gingrich's Richmond appearance drew an immediate response from the Democratic National Committee. Alec Gerglach, a spokesman for the Democrats, said in a statement:

After months of delay tactics, Republicans are in no position to offer advice on how best to offer Americans accessible, affordable health care. And when presented with the opportunity to offer a solution, Newt Gingrich failed to act. The fact is that Newt Gingrich and Republicans offered no comprehensive solutions when they controlled Congress and the White House. And despite the inclusion of several Republican ideas, Republicans chose instead to play politics and aimed to hand the President a loss rather than work with the President and Democrats toward a solution providing quality, affordable care to American families."

By Rosalind Helderman  |  May 14, 2010; 4:01 PM ET
Categories:  Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  | Tags: Newt Gingrich  
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At least this is good news:
"McDonnell also announced he willl soon hire a Health Care Reform Coordinator to help Virginia expand its Medicaid eligibility, plan for new health care exchanges that the law mandates in 2014 and make Virginia's system more affordable."

Posted by: hillgirl8024 | May 14, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

This simply is not true, and I am so tired hearing this and seeing this in print.

I watched the Democrats physically lock out the Republicans on TV. I watched the health care summit on February 25, 2010, I watched the president talk, talk and talk (he hardly let anyone else talk [as usual]) and towards the end he stated “…six weeks time, we could actually decide something”. By March 5, 2010 (eight days later) the bill is being discussed again by Democrats in the house (I watched Republicans being excluded, as well as most Democrats).

This should have been a joint effort, but I watched and it was not allowed to be.

Posted by: Sly_In_Michigan | May 15, 2010 1:17 AM | Report abuse

Under Health Care Reform, Medical insurance is a must, but you can easily find medical insurance for you under $40

Posted by: zariyaagil14 | May 15, 2010 4:16 AM | Report abuse

the GOP should de-fund itself-euthanasia beats a long drawn out death. and when are the political paparazzi gonna stop covering this opportunistic bloviating blowhard who will say anything at anytime to any group [more than 1] of wingnuts?

Posted by: tedri50 | May 16, 2010 4:10 AM | Report abuse

The GOP is in serious need of new leaders if the Speaker of the House from 12 years ago is still considered a credible leader (and this is despite the fact he left in disgrace 12 years ago after one of the worst mid-term election results for a party out of power in over 60 years). Here, he's essentially saying to shut down the government again, which he was in charge of in 1995 and 1996, paving the way for Bill Clinton's landslide reelection.

Posted by: legalla | May 16, 2010 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Republicans, keep your HANDS OFF our ObamaCare!
Thank you.

Posted by: angie12106 | May 16, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

slyinMichigan wrote>>>I watched the Democrats physically lock out the Republicans on TV. I watched the health care summit on February 25, 2010,

I watched the health care summit and saw Republicans present the same old impractical ideas they'd presented on their respective house floors.
They had nothing new to offer at the summit.
But Republicans' idea of MANDATED health insurance was included in Obamacare - along with over 100 Republican amendments.

Posted by: angie12106 | May 16, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Go for it, and every time someone gets injured with no treatment, contracts a preventable disease, or dies a preventable death, all of America will know who is responsible. Go for it Newtster, U failed human being U.

Posted by: jmdziuban1 | May 16, 2010 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Gingrich is just about as corrupt as a politician gets nowadays, but he has a point: the latest health care bill is a disaster. Its only "benefit" will be to provide plenty of work to bureaucrats, attorneys and judges as they figure how to work it out.

The bottom line is that "we the people" ought to put to the trash cans our illusions that the political class is at "our" service. Obamacare's prime lesson is that with these Democrats, "we" don't need Republicans, since health care is going to stay just as messy and expensive as without it.

The real challenge for Gingrich, Obama and their accomplices would be to submit to a psychological evaluation and have the results published. And the real challenge for "us" is to start distinguishing signs of inherited and acquired psychological deficiencies. There is no reason why "we" should elect people who will lie under oath with no remorse.


Posted by: DanielNoel | May 17, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

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