Gingrich in Va.: A Republican Congress could defund health care law
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House Speaker Newt Gingrich said he believes there is a 50-50 chance the federal health care reform bill will be fully repealed in 2013, if President Obama is defeated in the 2012 election and Republicans take over Congress.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.
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."
May 14, 2010; 4:01 PM ET
Categories: Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman | Tags: Newt Gingrich
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