Jonathan Gruber is an MIT economist and is acknowledged as having designed Obamacare. Videos of Gruber’s remarks made at a conference in October of 2013 have exploded all over the national media. The video shows Gruber saying Obamacare passed in part because “the American people are too stupid to understand the difference.” He went on to say, “Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. Call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically, that was really, really critical for the thing to pass.”
He didn’t stop there. He said, “In terms of risk-rated subsidies, if you had a law which said that healthy people are going to pay in—you made explicit that healthy people pay in and sick people get money it would not have passed…”
Gruber explained how he designed the bill to get past the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) by saying that Obamacare’s individual mandate—the provision that requires most Americans to buy government-approved insurance, or pay a fine—was described in the law as a “penalty” instead of as a “tax” in order to hide the mandate’s effects. “I mean, this bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the [individual] mandate as taxes,” said Gruber. “If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. Okay, so [the law is] written to do that.”
He’s stupid. Apparently his egoism and arrogance prevented him from realizing that one’s public remarks are exactly that…public. What we say publicly can come back to bite us.
His remarks are sure to fuel the fire among those who would like to repeal Obamacare. His comments on subsidies are equally certain to affect a new case before the Supreme Court on that very issue. You remember, “If you like your health plan, you get to keep your health plan. If you like your doctor, you get to keep your doctor.” American families would save an average of $2400 a year in health insurance costs. We were lied to but that doesn’t make us stupid. The very act of lying about the consequences of Obamacare is testament to the fact that we are not stupid for if we had been told the truth we would have rejected it. The American voter isn’t stupid, Mr. Gruber…but you, most certainly, are.
© Joyce Clark, 2014
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