Comments made by Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber in 2013 explaining how congressional passage of the Affordable Care Act was achieved have further intensified opposition to President Barack Obama's signature healthcare plan, The Washington Post
Speaking on an academic panel about the legislative process Gruber said
: "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 getting the thing to pass."
He said the bill was written in a "tortured way" to make sure that the Congressional Budget Office did not score the mandate as a tax.
He added that had the law made it clear healthy people would pay and sick people would benefit the bill would not have passed.
Gruber repeated the gist of the remarks at a separate academic venue, as reported by Fox News
The clips were unearthed by Rich Weinstein
, who was interested in the "paper trail" of David Cutler, Zeke Emanuel, and Gruber — all identified as architects of the Affordable Care Act.
After Weinstein's health insurance was canceled because of the law's requirements, he devoted himself to learning more about each of the men, the Post reported.
Referring to the first video, Gruber said he regretted the remarks describing them as "off the cuff" in an interview with MSNBC
Conservative say the revelations are yet another reason to push ahead with efforts repeal Obamacare.
"The strategy was to hide the truth from the American people. That is a threat to the American republic," said Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions.
Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, said the video provided "ammunition to make fundamental changes to the law," the Post reported.
An email issued by House Speaker John Boehner's office stated that Gruber's "comments are a sad reminder that this awful law was passed in the worst possible way, with lies, secrecy and more lies from Washington Democrats."
And Sen. Mitch McConnell, who is expected to be the new Senate Majority Leader, was said by his office to be tracking reaction to the video.
Gruber, who teaches microeconomics at MIT, is an expert on healthcare costs and helped the Obama administration design its program. He was also involved in the Massachusetts healthcare plan implemented by then-governor Mitt Romney.
Gruber also spoke favorably of McCain's scheme for financing the healthcare system when the senator ran for president in 2008, according to the Post.
The White House issued a statement saying, "Not only do we disagree with [Gruber's] comments, they're simply not true," the Post reported.
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