By Justin Sink
It's not the first time the Center for Health Transformation has served as a campaign liability for Gingrich. In January, Gingrich's Republican opponents hammered the former Speaker for his consulting contract — secured under the center's previous name, the Gingrich Group — with troubled mortgage giant Freddie Mac. They suggested Gingrich was hired to lobby his former congressional colleagues.
While Gingrich strongly denied he was a lobbyist, payments to the firm in the hundreds of thousands of dollars provided ammunition for a series of biting campaign advertisements. Adding to the political damage was the group's initial reluctance to turn over the contract between the group and Gingrich, which showed Freddie Mac paid Gingrich at least $1.6 million over a period of eight years.
In its later iteration, the center counted major health insurance and technology companies — including BlueCross BlueShield, UnitedHealth, and IBM — among its clients. But the center again proved a campaign detriment when audio of Gingrich promoting the individual healthcare mandate during a call with clients surfaced.
Slideshows posted to the group's website also promoted the mandate, which is the central issue in challenges to the president's signature legislation. A ruling by the Supreme Court on the law's constitutionality is expected in June.
Gingrich has since said that he opposed the individual mandate. The Gingrich campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding the Center for Health Transformation's bankruptcy filing.