Saturday, November 18, 2017

Newt Gingrich's health care think tank files for bankruptcy

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The once high-flying health care think tank that Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich started nearly a decade ago has filed for bankruptcy, its fortunes sinking rapidly last year as its leader turned his energies to the political campaign trail.

The Center for Health Transformation had promoted private-sector solutions to America's skyrocketing health care costs, and also became a source of significant cash for Gingrich and his wife, Callista. The Post reported that the center took in $37 million in donations, primarily from big pharmaceutical and health care corporations, in its eight years in business.

The center had advertised Newt Gingrich as its primary asset, and dues-paying companies such as Astra Zeneca and Blue Cross Blue Shield were offered direct access to the former House speaker. But when Gingrich announced his plans to run for president last summer, he sold his ownership interest in the group and had to give up his role as chief fundraiser for the center.

Gingrich's record-setting political action group, American Solutions, also shut down in July 2011 because his candidacy made it impossible for him to fundraise for the group.

The group's petition for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, filed on Wednesday in federal court in Atlanta, shows that the center estimates it owes from $1 million to $10 million in debts, but claims only as much as $100,000 in assets.

The petition also notes the center has between 50 and 99 creditors, and lists among them the Ritz Carlton and St. Regis hotels in Atlanta, Moby Dick Airways and Gingrich Productions, a film production group run by Callista Gingrich. A lawyer who submitted the bankruptcy filings, George Geeslin, declined to comment on the case.

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