A chief architect of the so-called Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been caught admitting what, well, smart people, already knew.Obamacare was sold on lies. Big ones.
That’s right. MIT professor Jonathan Gruber was recorded on video on at least three different occasions since 2012 arrogantly bragging about the underhanded wordplay that he and others in the Obama administration used to fool the electorate, which he referred to as “the stupidity of the American voter.”
That’s not even including President Barack Obama’s whopper about keeping your doctor and insurance policy if you like them.
Video 1 – Penn State, October 2013
“This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO (Congresional Budget Office) 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. In terms of, 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. Okay? Just like, how people, transparent, lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, you know, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical to get the thing to pass. And you know, it was the second best argument. Look, I wish Mark (Pauly) was right, that we could make it all transparent, but I’d rather have this law than not.”
In addition to insulting everyone who voted, campaigned and worked for the passage of the ACA by as stupid, he revealed two, intentionally misleading strategies: the tax mandate and the subsidies. He’s right about them. If the Obama administration had been “the most transparent in history” as promised during the 2008 campaign, and informed the public of those aspects, passage would have been impossible. But they chose not to.
Video 2 – Washington University in St. Louis, October 2013
“They said, ‘Look, what you economics nerds want to do is you want to say that for people with expensive health insurance plans, they will no longer get a 40 percent tax break. What if we instead just levied a 40 percent tax on the insurance companies that sell these terrible expensive Cadillac plans? They proposed it, and it passed cause the American voter is too stupid to understand the difference.” (Audience members laughed) The “they” in that quote is Sen. John Kerry, who Gruber credited with proposing the Cadillac plan tax. While it may sound good to some people, companies almost always pass expenses on to consumers. Gruber knew it. Kerry knew it. But they assumed the public wouldn’t. So their slight-of-hand tactic is deceiving because it tricked supporters into believing the insurance companies would bear the tax burden instead of themselves.
Video 3 – University of Rhode Island, November 2012
“We just tax the insurance companies, they pass on higher prices that offsets the tax break we get, it ends up being the same thing. It’s a very clever, you know, basic exploitation of the, of the, of the, lack of economic understanding of the American voter.” While this quote is similar to the previous one, it illustrates the same theme. Gruber is convinced that the American electorate is stupid…for believing what they were told.
Gruber has apologized, saying he “spoke off-the-cuff,” and apparently expects “stupid” voters to believe him for real this time.