When I first heard about a supposed “Obamacare” architect making controversial comments, I personally didn’t pay too close attention to the story at first.
But when President Barack Obama made his first comments about this person last week, I thought it was important that our readers get an understanding of what is going on here.
It all started when videos of MIT economics professor Jonathan Gruber were shown with him making remarks that put into question the integrity of those responsible for framing the Affordable Care Act and the law itself.
He said a “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 critical to get the thing passed.”
“It’s a very clever, you know, basic exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter,” Gruber said at the Honors Colloquium 2012 at the University of Rhode Island.
“They proposed it and that passed, because the American people are too stupid to understand the difference,” he said at Washington University at St. Louis in 2013.
I don’t know about you but I don’t like being called stupid.
And then indirectly, more government officials called me stupid in response to Gruber’s comments.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, when first asked about Gruber’s comments, said that President Obama was proud of the transparent process used to pass ACA.
His statement reminds me of then Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi saying “we have to pass the bill to so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of controversy.”
Pelosi and other prominent administration leaders began to separate themselves from Gruber.
“I don’t know who he is,” she said in a press conference. “He didn’t help write our bill.”
Then comes the response from President Barack Obama.
“The fact that some adviser who never worked on our staff expressed an opinion that I completely disagree with…is no reflection on the actual process that was run,” he said.
The President dismissed Gruber as “some advisor” and followed up his point by talking about the year long debate that, to him, showed the process was transparent.
Records show that Gruber was hired in 2009 as a consultant and was paid nearly $400,000 for what is known as the “Gruber Microsimulation Model.”
His agency was reportedly contracted for $2 million in value since 2007.
Gruber said his own technical support and analysis were used in models that were later passed as ACA.
“If they hadn’t had this kind of analysis, well, the law would not be designed as well,” Gruber said in an interview last year.
Fifteen states also asked him to counsel them on implementing the health care law.
in 2006, then Senator Barack Obama said, at the Brookings Institute, that he had stolen ideas liberally, from among others, John Gruber.
Gruber played a major role in the construction and passage of ACA.
His comments shed light on the model selected to frame the ACA. In essence, the law only passed because it wasn’t as transparent as we keep hearing it was and the American voters were “stupid.”
In the meantime, Americans are checking their new health care plans and watching their premiums go up a little while their deductibles go through the roof, to near catastrophic insurance.
Just wait until next year when we start hearing about employers choosing to pay a fine (or tax) rather than offering health insurance to its employees.
Take my word it is coming. While there are good things about ACA, this bill was sketchy from the start and Gruber’s comments only add to the fire of those who were opposed to the health care law from the beginning.