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Gingrich comes to Virginia for his sixth health care talk

Anita Kumar

Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich will join Gov. Bob McDonnell, a fellow Republican, in Richmond Friday for a panel discussion on health care -- Gingrich's sixth such talk as he travels across the nation.

Since 2008, Gingrich has gone to Minnesota, South Carolina, Louisiana, Missouri and Florida. In three of those states, he was joined by Republican governors -- Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, Mark Sanford of South Carolina and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana.

The events are sponsored by the Center for Health Transformation, launched in 2003 as a project of Gingrich's consulting firm.

Companies pay $15,000 to sponsor the event, which gets an official a seat on the panel. Alissa Momberg, a spokeswoman for the Gingrich Group, said the money covers the costs of the event and staff time.

The four sponsors of the Virginia event are Anthem BlueCross BlueShield; Availity, DaVita and Novo Nordisk (which has asked George Washington University to sit on the panel on its behalf).

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Friday's event, "Creating a 21st Century Intelligent Health System in Virginia."
is the first one to take place after the federal health care bill was signed by President Obama.

It will take place at MeadWestvaco, a top contributor to McDonnell, according to the Virginia Public Access Project, a nonpartisan tracker of money in politics. The company's chairman John Luke is expected to speak as is Bill Hazel, Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources.

This spring, McDonnell signed a bill that will make it illegal for the state to require citizens to purchase health care. Later, the state challenged the constitutionality of the federal health-care law.

Gingrich was a strong supporter of McDonnell and Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R) during the election, helping them raise hundreds of thousands of dollars at fundraisers.

By Anita Kumar  |  May 14, 2010; 9:57 AM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar , General Assembly 2010 , House of Delegates , Robert F. McDonnell , State Senate  
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I fully comprehend why McDonnell objects to Virginians' having good health, where I have a problem is my insurance company joining the governor in objecting to providing health care to their subscribers.

Posted by: peter49 | May 14, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

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