From the Washington Post:
A think tank founded by GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich collected at least $37 million over the past eight years from major health-care companies and industry groups, offering special access to the former House speaker and other perks, according to records and interviews.
The Center for Health Transformation, which opened in 2003, brought in dues of as much as $200,000 per year from insurers and other health-care firms, offering some of them “access to Newt Gingrich” and “direct Newt interaction,” according to promotional materials. The biggest funders, including firms such as AstraZeneca, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Novo Nordisk, were also eligible to receive discounts on “products and workshops” from other Gingrich groups.
The health center advocated, among other things, requiring that “anyone who earns more than $50,000 a year must purchase health insurance or post a bond,” a type of insurance mandate that has since become anathema to conservatives.
The Center told the Washington Post that neither the Center itself nor Gingrich had done any lobbying as part of their work on health-care. But it does paint a fuller picture of how Gingrich’s post-Speaker endeavors were both profitable and policy-oriented. The Wall Street Journal reported today that Gingrich was paid $840,000 for consulting by the Chamber of Commerce for seven years’ work beginning in 2001.