Washington (CNN) – A week before President Obama's historic health care law sees its one year anniversary, one of his potential presidential rivals predicted its demise.
"I think it will be repealed. I think it'll be repealed probably by March or April of 2013," former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said. That would, of course, be mere months after the next presidential inauguration.
Gingrich, a potential presidential candidate and founder of the Center for Health Transformation, made the comments Friday at the National Press Club in Washington during a panel discussion over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The panel included another member of Gingrich's group, one from the National Center for Policy Analysis, and another from the Heritage Foundation.
"It's unfortunate that the Obama administration is stonewalling serious re-thinking of this bill," Gingrich added. "Because in the form that it came through and the way they wrote it, it's clearly an indefensible bill."
Gingrich has made the prediction before. But now it comes amid increasing attention on the initial stages of the Republican presidential primary race. As they decide their intentions, Gingrich and other potential candidates are jockeying for attention among conservative voters.
Gingrich recently told former staffers and supporters on a conference call he is "leaning toward a yes" on a presidential run. Earlier this month, the Republican announced he would raise money and explore a bid.
At the panel discussion Gingrich laid out a prime reason, he thinks, the health care law will be repealed. He said it gives 1,968 new and expanded powers to a federal government that is already "not competent" at many of its other responsibilities.
And yet, at least one item Gingrich mentioned was a disaster mismanagement seen under George W. Bush's administration. Another item has been a problem for Republican and Democratic administrations, alike.
"No reasonable person, given the track record of the federal government – given Katrina, given the borders, given inefficiencies, given all the different things we read about everyday..." should trust the government to competently handle its new powers under the health law, Gingrich said.
Gingrich himself was a big supporter of President Bush's $400 billion Medicare prescription drug insurance plan signed into law in 2003. The Trustees of Social Security and Medicare say that plan now sees $7.2 trillion in unfunded liabilities over the next 75 years.
Does Gingrich regret his support for the plan, he was asked.
"No," he said.
"I am for dramatic reform of Medicare," Gingrich added, explaining that he is for solutions that make Medicare more economically viable.
"All I was in favor of was modernizing the system to recognize modern medicine."
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