Gingrey spent most of his time discussing health care reform, which was the No. 1 concern at Ed Voyles, said Bill Brantley, chief operating officer of the Ed Voyles Automotive Group.
"It's a big expense item for us, so obviously health care is important as to where it is going and what it is going to cost us and our employees," Brantley said.
Gingrey said he would vote against President Obama's proposed health care reform unless changes are made to the bill.
"If we took sufficient time and worked together in a bipartisan way, probably 80 percent of this current bill we could agree on. We could never agree on the public plan because that is just two steps towards socialized medicine and that would be my reason I will continually vote against it," he said. "If they make a few changes and don't force people to buy healthcare if they don't want it, then maybe I'll vote yes."
Among the items needing revision, Gingrey said a stickler for him is forcing the public into purchasing the medical coverage.
"In this country, people ought to have the freedom to make that choice. We can do all kinds of government sponsored public service announcements and encourage people, if they can afford first dollar coverage, to sign up for a health saving account and a high deductible low premium so they have catastrophic coverage. All those things could and should be encouraged, but to force people to do it is not right," he said.
Tax breaks should be offered to those who decide to purchase medical coverage, Gingrey said.
"When people buy on the individual or small employer market, they're not getting a tax break. They have to pay sticker price. People that get their health insurance through large employers, they don't have to pay taxes on it. That's a tax free benefit and the employers get to take it as a business expense," he said. "If you buy as an individual, you ought to be able to take a tax deduction. Also, those people who are low income but not low enough to be eligible for Medicaid or (similar programs) should get a refundable tax credit. $2,500 for an individual or $5,000 for a family ... I'm all for that."
Small businesses owners should not be required to provide healthcare to their employees, according to Gingrey.
"I think they should be encouraged to do it, but I don't think they should be forced to do it or fined if they don't," he said.
The Congressman acknowledged Tuesday that healthcare reform is a hot button issue across the country right now. Town hall meetings are crowded with people protesting the reform, sometimes diverting attention away from the subject with their outcries.
"Sometimes it's the American way. We members of Congress have ample opportunity to be in the know or speak on the house floor ... to hear our own voices. These seniors that get frustrated and worried rarely get the opportunity to speak to anybody that can solve their problems. When they show up at a town hall meeting or school board meeting at Cobb or Marietta because they're concerned about their grandchildren's education, sometimes they get over the top.
"We should hear them instead of trying to explain away their concerns and promise to try and do something about it. I think any member of Congress that decides to cancel their town hall meetings because they don't want to face the heat ought to be voted out of office in the next election," he said.
Although Gingrey voted for "cash for clunkers," a program that offered cash trade-ins of up to $4,500 for old gas-guzzler, he thinks there are problems with the program that need to be worked out.
"I thought it sounded like a win-win program, a good program. In hindsight, I think the government will get better at implementation. This is another example of trying to rush something through, maybe for political reasons, and it's not given enough thought," he said. "These things just need a little bit more vetting. That's why we're so concerned with this healthcare reform."