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.