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Rep. Phillip Gingrey: 'Shocked' by health care ruling

Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) discusses Republican strategy in response to the Supreme Court's upholding of the Affordable Care Act.

Kai Ryssdal: Those who supported the health care law are breathing a bit easier today. Those who opposed it now have their work cut out for them. Congressman and physician Phillip Gingery, Republican of Georgia, is among the latter group. Congressman, good to have you here.

Phillip Gingrey: Great to be with you.

Ryssdal: Were you ready for the ruling to go this way, sir?

Gingrey: Absolutely not. This place up here is nothing but a bizarre-o world. I was shocked, disappointed almost beyond belief. But in any regard, the Supreme Courts are supreme. I don't want to have a beer with Justice Roberts today.

Ryssdal: I bet you he'd like a beer right now.

Gingrey: I'd like to pour one on his head.

Ryssdal: Let me ask you this: Would you support efforts after the election to repeal the Affordable Care Act?

Gingrey: In fact, we have already made a decision. House Republicans through our leadership -- John Boehner and Eric Cantor -- that we will have a repeal vote actually on a date, July the 11th. I think that's what the American people want us to do.

Ryssdal: So you're not waiting? You're talking July 11 in a month, or in three weeks.

Gingrey: Oh absolutely. The date is certain, count on it. That's when we'll have the vote. We'll pass it in the House. Harry Reid will again sit on it in the Senate. But as we go forward over the next four months in this presidential election process, how is the incumbent president going to avoid the charge that he indeed has raised taxes on people making less than $200,000 a year if in fact is a tax? And indeed it is a tax, that's why this bill is not costing a trillion dollars over 10 years. It's costing $2.7 trillion at least and the number's growing every day.

Ryssdal: Just to be clear here, it was the Supreme Court who turned it into a tax, sir. When the bill went up it was not a tax, it was a mandate.

Gingrey: Well, that's right. That's exactly right. Because the Democratic majority knew that there were Blue Dog Democrats in the House and scared to death, up for reelection -- Democrat senators in the Senate that would never have voted for this had it been a tax. This indeed is the largest tax in the history of our country while at the same time, as we all know, $575 billion were taken out of the Medicare program to help pay for this new entitlement. I'm very disappointed, but while this today is a chicken salad day for the administration, it's going to be a chicken something else come November the 7th because I think we're going to -- because of this -- elect a 45th president. And we're going to, we Republicans, maintain our majority in the House and gain it in the Senate. So from the political perspective, I think we will make lemonade out of these lemons. I'm not somber or grim -- disappointed, of course, surprised, shocked, all of that -- but hey, game on.

Ryssdal: Phillip Gingrey, congressman from Georgia. Thank you, sir.

Gingrey: Thank you.

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.
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Rep. Gingrey wants to distance himself from Congressional politics, calling his experience in DC "bizarro." He also said that the House would vote on July 11th to repeal Obamacare....that this is "something the American people want us to do."
Most people think that staging a vote on a topic for which your position has been crystal clear and loudly proclaimed for many months is itself "bizarro," and nothing but the type of empty political posturing that has characterized the last few years. Kai, how about pointing that kind of thing out? It would be nice to hear a Republican voice on Marketplace that was less arrogant and ideological, and a bit more thoughtful. Is the Obama health care bill a complete disaster? Well, would Rep. Gingrey want to repeal the provision that young people under 26 be able to be covered by their parents' insurance? How about the donut hole--would he like to step in front of a group of seniors and explain why closing that is a bad idea? In short, why doesn't he shock all the listeners by admitting that there may be some provisions that aren't heading us for Armageddon?

With all due respect, it smells like Rep. Phillip Gingrey just wants to get the black dude out of office and this is one big EXCUSE for it. Georgia? come on! This is supposed to be affordable health care! Focus on making health care AFFORDABLE and not on who wins election or reelection. I just paid $1623 in cobra each month for 3 months (Jan thru March) while being unemployed. This is way more than the $700 I was paying per month last time I was unemployed 2.5 years ago. United Healthcare has billions in profit yet they bumble claims so I can get creditors coming after ME! Phillip needs to walk in my shoes before he starts going after Roberts and Obama. Fix this friggin healthcare mess, don't make it worse with your rhetoric! I tell you what, I'll back you Phillip if you get Congress to be covered by the same pension and healthcare that I get. Put your money where you big mouth is! If you can't, SHUT UP!

As a member of Congress, Rep. Gingrey is covered by a health care plan for federal employees, so it's hard to believe the debate is as personal for him as it is for many other Americans. Is Rep. Gingrey behaving like a statesman grappling with the challenges of national resource allocation, or is this political gameboy behavior? I'm leaning toward the latter because after the chickens and lemons bluster, he succinctly reveals the manner of his involvement in this debate with his last two words: "game on".

Am I the only one who is not surprised by the Supreme Court ruling on health care? Corporations are People; Bribery Equals Free Speech; Compulsory Consumption via a Mandate for Profiteering—they are all rightwing proposals. This decision was not out of step with an activist Supreme Court; it is perfectly consistent with it. Hatched at the Heritage Foundation and implemented by none other than Mitt (today’s Democrats seem to be proud of it), this bill should never have been backed by any progressive-leaning Democrat, Independent, or populist in the first place. Instead of providing an example of how the Supreme Court can break with its activist image and rule impartially on an issue, it shows how far Democrats and all Americans have drifted to the right. “Individual responsibility” is, and always has been, a Republican talking point, brought to you by Ronald Reagan. However, even Ronald Reagan would not have advocated for the subordination of Americans as wage earners, consumers, and taxpayers to the will of big business and high finance, complete with enforcement by the IRS. In what promises to be one of the greatest ironies of the 21st Century, the Supreme Court’s support for this “radical socialist” legislation might just launch its premier architect, who now says he opposes it, into the White House. Maybe this weighed into Jon Roberts’ decision (?). He’s no dummy. Republicans should be celebrating, and Democrats mourning a loss; the Supreme Court just handed Mitt Romney his ticket to the White House. With a little bait and switch, we can start privatizing everything and transform America into a world class, 21st Century, pro-corporate, feudal empire.

The claim that the ACA is "the largest tax in the history of our country" is false. The Tampa Bay Times in its "Politifact" section labeled it a "Pants on Fire" lie. http://bit.ly/LSRI3Q In its analysis, the Times found that "The health care-related tax increases are smaller than the tax increase signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1982 and a temporary tax signed into law in 1968 by President Lyndon B. Johnson. And they are significantly smaller than two tax increases passed during World War II and a tax increase passed in 1961."

Thanks oboeadam. That was just junk Gingrey pulled out of his hiney and it deserved a pointed rebuttal. They just fling stuff and see what sticks. Without intentionally distracting bombast, there is nothing that Gingrey has to offer. Pants exploding I'd say.

I'm a moderate who supports obamacare (regardless of humanitarian reasons, we are already paying for the uninsured via medicaid, increased ins premiums, hospital bad debts, etc.), but am as disappointed by npr/apm/etc liberal slant as i am at fox's conservative presentation. So Ky, who concentrates on being witty (but none of us know what comes from his writers vs his head), makes the dumb retort that the "supreme court turned it into a tax." Duh, Ky, they JUSTIFIED it as a tax, and if not then it would have been declaired unconstitutional, hence invalid. So i nominate his comment as MOST DUMB, VACUOUS,GRATUITOUS COMMENT OF THE YEAR.

Thank you Rep. Gingrey for that pompous and arrogant prognostication for our electoral future. How about total failure for your efforts to repeal ACA and another term for President Obama and an embarrassing next few months coming up for the r's because Mitt "Etch A Sketch" Romney was for everything you are criticizing and he's going to be called out on it constantly?

Pontificate endlessly, just 'cause you say it don't make it so. And I wouldn't waste a beer, but I'd be glad to poor a gallon of cold, sticky sweet tea all over your poor, irritated, betrayed, disappointed and vengeful head. Talk, talk, talk all you want. Health care for all Americans moves forward regardless. Ain't it great.

You should allow someone to challenge the republican's numbers when they start spouting the doom senarios that they always present. Leave that to the propaganda machines of Fox news, Linbaugh, and the giant secret PACs. You guys should be better than that. If they don't get their way, they want to pour a beer and the Chief Justices head. Real statesmenship.

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