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The truth on Obamacare is finally out: The bill was purposely written to trick the CBO (congressional Budget Office) into believing the bill was not a tax. Moreover, the bill also depended on the "Stupidity of the American Voter".
Many of us knew that long ago. But those are the words of Jonathan Gruber, a numbers wizard at M.I.T., who was courted by the Obama administration, and paid $400,000 for his efforts to see that the bill made its way through Congressional obstacles.
The following short video explains the setup.
Back in 2012, regarding Gruber's role in getting the bill passed, the New York Times wrote Academic Built Case for Mandate in Health Care Law.
Interestingly, Gruber was also the architect for Romneycare when Mitt Romney was Massachusetts governor.
Romney was proud of Romneycare until president Obama endorsed virtually the same idea as Obamacare. Romney then ran against his own creation. Lovely.
I picked up the video above from Reason.Com Watch Obamacare Architect Jonathan Gruber Explain Why "Lack of Transparency" Was Key to Passing the Health Care Law.
Gruber: "This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO [Congressional Budget Office] scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. Okay, so it’s written to do that. 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 for 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."Reason says (and I wholeheartedly agree) ...
Gruber thinks it's acceptable to deceive people if he believes that's the only way to achieve his policy preference. That's not exactly surprising, given that he failed to disclose payments from the administration to consult on Obamacare even while providing the media with supposedly independent assessments of the law.Tax Credit Legal Challenge
But it's particularly revealing in light of Gruber's recently discovered comments regarding the way the law's subsidies for health insurance are supposed to work. In a 2012 video unearthed this summer, Gruber said explicitly that the tax credits to offset coverage costs were conditioned on state participation in the law's exchanges—a contention that the administration denies, and is at the heart of a legal challenge on its way to the Supreme Court.
Jumping to the above 2012 video link we find Gruber arguing out of both sides of his mouth in regards to tax credits. Each side taking the opposite side of the other.
Gruber: "What’s important to remember politically about this is if you're a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don't get their tax credits—but your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill. So you’re essentially saying [to] your citizens you’re going to pay all the taxes to help all the other states in the country. I hope that that's a blatant enough political reality that states will get their act together and realize there are billions of dollars at stake here in setting up these exchanges. But, you know, once again the politics can get ugly around this."Here’s the video, which according to YouTube's date stamp was uploaded by Noblis on January 20, 2012. The relevant passage starts around minute 31.
Reason: "What he says is exactly what challengers to the administration’s implementation of the law have been arguing—that if a state chooses not to establish its own exchange, then residents of those states will not be able to access Obamacare's health insurance tax credits. ... In early 2013, Gruber told the liberal magazine Mother Jones that the theory advanced by the challengers in this case was 'nutty.' Gruber also signed an amicus brief in defense of the administration and the IRS rule. But judging by the video it is quite clear that in 2012 he accepted the essence of the interpretation advanced by the challengers."
And so here we are, stuck in a system designed by Gruber and implemented first by Mitt Romney, then by President Obama.
To get Obamacare through Congress was a chore. It depended on the "Stupidity of the American Voter", says Gruber in those exact words.
Whom do we "thank" most? Gruber, Romney, Obama, or the stupid American public?
Mike "Mish" Shedlock