The problem with Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber's comment about the importance of stupid voters in passing the healthcare law isn't that he said it, it's that it's what he thinks, former Democratic Vermont Gov. Howard Dean told MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist Jonathan Gruber
came under fire when a video surfaced of him speaking at the University of Pennsylvania in 2013, where he said that passing Obamacare relied on the "stupidity of the American voter."
Gruber also called a lack of transparency about Obamacare "a huge political advantage," but on Tuesday told MSNBC he regretted the remarks.
"The problem is not that he said it. The problem is that he thinks it," Dean said Wednesday.
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Dean, who was chairman of the Democratic National Committee and a 2004 presidential candidate, called Gruber's comments "terrible," and said the healthcare law was put together by people out of touch with Americans.
"The core problem with the law (is) that (it) was put together by a bunch of elitists who don't really fundamentally understand the American people. That's what the problem is," he said.
Dean challenged whether Gruber was actually an "architect" of Obamacare, and suggested "he likes to think he's one of the architects," adding that he did play a "significant role as a consultant."
"This guy probably had some access to the president. But, my guess is, for the most part, he didn't. So, I'm not excusing the language," Dean said. "(Lack of transparency) is how we got this bill, which is very complicated."
Republican Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso told "Fox & Friends" on Wednesday that he found Gruber's remarks "very offensive," and thought it confirmed "people's greatest fear about the government."
"Remember, it was (House Minority Leader) Nancy Pelosi (who) said first you have to pass it before you get to find out what's in it. We knew it was written in a way that it was really deliberately written to deceive the American people. And, now people are paying the price," Barrasso said.
Now that Republicans have a majority in both the House and the Senate, Barrasso said he was going to work to repeal Obamacare, or amend parts of it.
"We want to repeal the entire healthcare law. At a very minimum, we want to strip out the most damaging portions of the law that are impacting on people's health, as well as their take-home pay," he said.
Though there were several things he didn't like about Obamacare, Dean said the bottom line was that it was now "the law, and it's worked," adding further discussion about it was "basically beating a dead horse."
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