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Gingrich: Healthcare reform will be repealed in 2013

Congress is recessed next week but Democrats left with instructions to return to their districts and find a way to mark the anniversary.

“Each one of us will go back to our district and try to make a statement,” Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) told The Hill Thursday. “Whether it’s a town hall meeting or a press release or some type of event, we’ve been encouraged to do that.”

But Gingrich charged the Obama administration was “stonewalling” revamping of the law.

“I think we could guarantee that people would have access to care dramatically easier and with much less complexity than ObamaCare,” he said. “It is clearly an indefensible bill.”

Gingrich noted he doesn’t see how Democrats can force the House Republican majority to pass appropriations to fund the law.

Obama “can block them from repeal, I don’t think he can coerce them into funding,” Gingrich said. “I suspect the House Republicans will in fact defund the ObamaCare.”

House Republicans defunded the law in their measure to fund the government for the rest of the 2011 fiscal year. But that proposal failed in the Senate.

The former Speaker also characterized the law as a power grab by the federal government.

“Over time, the sheer weight of public opinion consistently forces the system to ultimately follow the people rather than the other way,” Gingrich said. “No reasonable person, given the track record of the federal government, given [Hurricane] Katrina, given the border, given inefficiencies, given all the different things we hear about every day. … You take this federal bureaucracy, it’s clearly not competent to run the current system.”

Gingrich pointed to the expanded powers of the Secretary of Health and Human Services that resulted from the law as a reason people are rejecting it.

“You really think that 1,968 additional grants of power to the federal government makes any sense?” he said. “And that’s why you notice polls have consistently shown a majority of the American people want to repeal this.”

A year after it was passed, voters haven’t warmed to the reforms. Slightly less than 50 percent of respondents to a Kaiser Health Tracking Poll said in February they view the bill unfavorably, while 43 percent said they like it. Republicans took control of the House and made gains in the Senate last year largely based on voters’ anger about healthcare.

Tags G.K. Butterfield

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