Obamacare would have never become law if the American electorate were smarter, MIT economist and Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber said during a recent panel discussion on the law, The Daily Caller
Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber said that lack of transparency was a major part of getting Obamacare passed because 'the stupidity of the American voter' would have killed the law if more people knew what was in it," according to the Caller.
Gruber served as a technical consultant to the Obama administration and is widely recognized as the law’s architect.
But as challenges to the law have surfaced, the administration has sought to distance itself from Gruber, who acknowledged during the panel discussion that the legislation was purposely written in a confusing way to make sure that he Congressional Budget Office did not score the individual mandate as a tax, a part of the law the Supreme Court upheld on the assertion that it was, in fact, a tax.
"This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. Okay, so it’s written to do that," Gruber 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 healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed… Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage.
"And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really, critical to get the thing to pass… Look, I wish Mark was right that we could make it all transparent, but I’d rather have this law than not," he said.
The National Review reported in July that Gruber was paid nearly $400,000
to consult with the administration, and that in 2012 he told an audience at a technical management support organization that tax credits were only available in states that set up their own exchanges.
In August, Breitbart News reported that the White House and ranking Congressional Democrats began distancing themselves from Gruber, after a federal appeals court ruled
that people who bought their insurance from healthcare exchanges administered by the federal government in 34 states were not eligible for billions of dollars in tax subsidies.
They began to say that Gruber was not a member of Congress and that "there is no evidence that anyone in Congress relied on him or his analysis."
Writer Scot Vorse points out a bevy of examples showing that "Gruber’s analysis was marketed as expert, independent analysis that Congress should and did rely on," including Gruber’s own words to a panel in 2010 that "I helped write the federal bill," and that he was a paid consultant hired by the administration to help develop the bill’s technical details.
In 2012, Gruber was captured on video saying that, after the election, he worked with the transition team to "help put the numbers together for the administration.
"And then, essentially, most of 2009 I was really on loan from the administration to Congress, particularly the Senate Finance Committee, to help them put the numbers together on what became the finance committee bill, which really became Obamacare."
The Supreme Court this month agreed to hear a legal challenge to the law regarding subsidies for Americans who bought their insurance through the federal exchange. Some three dozen states opted not to set up exchanges, instead offering their residents subsidized insurance through the federal exchange at healthcare.gov.
"As every day passes, more information surfaces making it abundantly clear that the intent of Obamacare was to create strong incentives for governors to set up exchanges in their own states," Vorse wrote.
"Gruber is very clear about this, and Congress relied on Gruber. When this strategy failed, the White House and HHS tried to change their position. Unfortunately for them, too much public information exists showing their original intent.
"If federal exchange subsidies are prohibited, Obamacare is over."
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