ObamaCare architect explained in 2012 video why only state exchanges pay subsidies

posted at 8:01 am on July 25, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

This week, Jonathan Gruber appeared on MSNBC to assert that the DC Circuit appellate court got the ObamaCare statute all wrong in its Halbig decision. Gruber, one of the key architects of the ACA and of the Massachusetts “RomneyCare” law that preceded it, insisted that the state exchange requirement for subsidy payment was purely accidental. “It is unambiguous this is a typo,” Gruber told Chris Matthews. “Literally every single person involved in the crafting of this law has said that it`s a typo, that they had no intention of excluding the federal states.”

Two years ago, though, Gruber gave a much different explanation for this part of the ObamaCare statute. Speaking at a January 2012 symposium for a tech organization that this was no typo. It was, Gruber said, a deliberate policy to twist the arms of reluctant states to set up their own exchanges — and that a failure to do so would mean no subsidies for their citizens. Peter Suderman at Reason and William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection immediately grasped the significance of this contradiction:

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. [emphasis added]

Suderman gives the context of Gruber’s remarks:

Jonathan Gruber, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist who helped design the Massachusetts health law that was the model for Obamacare, was a key influence on the creation of the federal health law. He was widely quoted in the media. During the crafting of the law, the Obama administration brought him on for consultation because of his expertise. He was paid almost $400,000 to consult with the administration on the law. And he has claimed to have written part of the legislation, the section dealing with small business tax credits.

After the law passed, in 2011 and throughout 2012, multiple states sought his expertise to help them understand their options regarding the choice to set up their own exchanges. During that period of time, in January of 2012, Gruber told an audience at Noblis, a technical management support organization, that tax credits—the subsidies available for health insurance—were only available in states that set up their own exchanges. …

And 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. He says this in response to a question asking whether the federal government will step in if a state chooses not to build its own exchange. Gruber describes the possibility that states won’t enact their own exchanges as one of the potential “threats” to the law. He says this with confidence and certainty, and at no other point in the presentation does he contradict the statement in question.

So is this a smoking gun in the Halbig case? Politically — yes. Legally? It certainly undermines one argument used by the administration to defend payment of subsidies through the federal exchanges, but it may not be entirely dispositive. What matters here is Congressional intent, not Gruber’s, to the extent that the statute itself appears ambiguous. The actual text of the law supports Gruber’s 2012 position, as both the DC and 4th Circuits found in their opposing rulings, but the 4th Circuit couldn’t quite believe that Congress intended to shaft Americans in states that didn’t set up their own exchanges. That might have changed had they heard from the 2012 version of Gruber.

Will this be enough at the Supreme Court to demonstrate that there was a rational reason for Congress to make the distinction in the law and force the court to adopt the DC’s Halbig decision? You’d have to ask Anthony Kennedy and John Roberts that question. And I’d say the odds are good that they’ll be asked it relatively soon.

Here’s the entire Nobilis presentation, in case anyone worries that this got taken out of context. The relevant remarks come at the 31-minute mark.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

I hope that that’s a blatant enough political reality that states will get their act together

I guess it wasn’t, douche. They called your bluff and you lost. Remember, it was a feature, not a bug.

Patriot Vet on July 25, 2014 at 9:58 AM

LYING appears to be SOP for this administration.

GarandFan on July 25, 2014 at 9:58 AM

Was Gruber, at any time, acting as an agent for the government in the crafting of the ACA? If so, his statements become legal utterances of the governments’ position and are fodder for arguments in a court room.

BobMbx on July 25, 2014 at 10:05 AM

During the crafting of the law, the Obama administration brought him on for consultation because of his expertise. He was paid almost $400,000 to consult with the administration on the law. And he has claimed to have written part of the legislation, the section dealing with small business tax credits.

Crap. I didn’t read far enough.

So now you depose him under oath and ask him to explain his presentation.

BobMbx on July 25, 2014 at 10:07 AM

The courts have no business trying to divine the “intent” of a previous Congress and re-write a flawed law instead of kicking it back to the CURRENT Congress to fix if they so choose.

ConstantineXI on July 25, 2014 at 9:37 AM

When was the last time ANYTHING worked the way it’s supposed to?

leftamark on July 25, 2014 at 10:07 AM

This is similar to the Obamacare penalty/tax. The administration says it’s one thing then when it’s challenged in court it suddenly becomes something different.

Wigglesworth on July 25, 2014 at 10:12 AM

Democrats lied. People died.

Can we steal their own BS lines?

No one is surprised that leftists would lie for their own ends. They have no principles. They only desire power over life and death. They want us all to be slaves.

njrob on July 25, 2014 at 10:12 AM

When was the last time ANYTHING worked the way it’s supposed to?

leftamark on July 25, 2014 at 10:07 AM

April 15, 2014. I was informed that I owed the IRS some $$$ and had better pay up lickity split (they were apparently running out of hard drives at the time).

BobMbx on July 25, 2014 at 10:17 AM

How is it ambiguous? The law says subsidies only go to exchanges established by the state and that the federal exchange is established by the Secretary of HHS. The reading of ambiguity into this is nothing more than wishful thinking.

drewwerd on July 25, 2014 at 10:17 AM

This is similar to the Obamacare penalty/tax. The administration says it’s one thing then when it’s challenged in court it suddenly becomes something different.

Wigglesworth on July 25, 2014 at 10:12 AM

Thats how Social Security became settled law. FDR sold it as insurance to the people, then argued that it was a tax at SCOTUS.

For the ACA, they argued it was a fee/penalty. Roberts said “oh no it isn’t. Its a tax.”

BobMbx on July 25, 2014 at 10:19 AM

Is this going to even change anyone’s argument in favor of Obamacre? Why, no. Who are you going to believe, the Dems or your lying ears? In fact, I doubt this clip will ever be mentioned on NPR or MSNBC. Why mention something that blows a hole in the case you really, really want, no matter how important it is.

Fred 2 on July 25, 2014 at 10:19 AM

s**t. I’m all out of popcorn. Wonder what’s on sale at the grocery store?

Renee on July 25, 2014 at 10:21 AM

ow is it ambiguous? The law says subsidies only go to exchanges established by the state and that the federal exchange is established by the Secretary of HHS. The reading of ambiguity into this is nothing more than wishful thinking.

drewwerd on July 25, 2014 at 10:17 AM

These are progressives you are dealing with.

They can find ambiguity on what “the definition of the word is, is”.

ConstantineXI on July 25, 2014 at 10:23 AM

Is this going to even change anyone’s argument in favor of Obamacre? Why, no. Who are you going to believe, the Dems or your lying ears? In fact, I doubt this clip will ever be mentioned on NPR or MSNBC. Why mention something that blows a hole in the case you really, really want, no matter how important it is.

Fred 2 on July 25, 2014 at 10:19 AM

Control of healthcare is the Holy Grail of the progressives.

Once they have that they have control of everyone.

ConstantineXI on July 25, 2014 at 10:24 AM

He was paid almost $400,000 to consult with the administration on the law.

great work, if you can get it….

And the Greed and Avarice continues unabated…

ToddPA on July 25, 2014 at 10:24 AM

He was paid almost $400,000 to consult with the administration on the law.

great work, if you can get it….

And the Greed and Avarice continues unabated…

ToddPA on July 25, 2014 at 10:24 AM

Everyone who can, does.
Everyone who can’t do, teaches.
Everyone who can’t teach, CONsults.

CONsultants are the lowest form of life on the food chain.

ConstantineXI on July 25, 2014 at 10:27 AM

Hahahahahaha! No except me two years ago.

dupontcircle on July 25, 2014 at 10:27 AM

Was Gruber, at any time, acting as an agent for the government in the crafting of the ACA? If so, his statements become legal utterances of the governments’ position and are fodder for arguments in a court room.

BobMbx on July 25, 2014 at 10:05 AM

Politically — yes. Legally?

Exactly, if Gruber was given the task to explain the law, than that is the law…I suspect that was his responsibility.

During the crafting of the law, the Obama administration brought him on for consultation because of his expertise. He was paid almost $400,000 to consult with the administration on the law.

right2bright on July 25, 2014 at 10:28 AM

The state exchanges were specifically designed to be a club and means to extort the states into paying for this $%*( stain of a law. Part of the plan was to punish states that try to curb their Medicaid costs (like not signing up illegal aliens and able bodied adults). It was openly discussed and not hidden from view. They called it a carrot and a stick as I recall. It was clear out bullying and it bit them in the butt. Depose this idiot liar ASAP.

Mormaer on July 25, 2014 at 10:29 AM

Jon Gruber also played a consulting role in mass-uh-chew-sits. Hired by none other than Willard Milton Romney himself. You guys that talk as if politicians will fix this mess are hilarious.

gryphon202 on July 25, 2014 at 10:30 AM

Excellent, Ed.

Let’s pound this on blogs and social media. Send it out over the heads of MSM.

petefrt on July 25, 2014 at 10:31 AM

Halbig was it?

Sounds like the old Carson show.

formwiz on July 25, 2014 at 10:35 AM

It’s obvious that Gruber was suffering from PTSD when he made this statement in 2012.

Stupid teabaggers.

sentinelrules on July 25, 2014 at 10:37 AM

Was Gruber, at any time, acting as an agent for the government in the crafting of the ACA? If so, his statements become legal utterances of the governments’ position and are fodder for arguments in a court room.

BobMbx on July 25, 2014 at 10:05 AM

Yeah he was a paid consultant, so that video IS evidence as is the video of him trying to change reality after it bit him in the assets.

That pretty much puts a cap on the federal exchange issue. It’s all over but the crying for the communist jackasses that pushed ZeroCare™ on the country.

dogsoldier on July 25, 2014 at 10:38 AM

“It ain’t armed robbery if the gun ain’t loaded”
-H.I. McDunnough, Raising Arizona

“It ain’t political blackmail if, later when the failed program has become a political millstone and may be invalidated by the courts, we later claim not to have said it.”
-Obama brownshirt

jangle12 on July 25, 2014 at 10:38 AM

Someone please get a camera on this guy. I’d love to hear his explanation. PTSD?

crrr6 on July 25, 2014 at 10:39 AM

So is this a smoking gun in the Halbig case?

more like smoking nothingburger.

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on July 25, 2014 at 10:41 AM

Yeah he was a paid consultant, so that video IS evidence as is the video of him trying to change reality after it bit him in the assets.

That pretty much puts a cap on the federal exchange issue. It’s all over but the crying for the communist jackasses that pushed ZeroCare™ on the country.

dogsoldier on July 25, 2014 at 10:38 AM

Analysis I was reading was that it’s not direct evidence since he isn’t a member of congress, but it’s the next best thing – particularly since he was hired by the WH as a consultant for drafting the law.

In any case, it *should* at least cast enough doubt that the court will have to fall back to the language of the law, in which case we win there too.

crrr6 on July 25, 2014 at 10:42 AM

This one is a good thing.

Even with Royce West , Texas State Senate boss hog leader of the black caucus, with the whole Democrat party of Texas running cover for him, even with Eric Holder boss of the Justice Dept.

Big time crook Democrat County Comish of Dallas County in JAIL.

109 pages of it, bribes, fraud, IRS fraud, bankruptcy fraud,

John Wiley Price,,, got an ego way to big, and he will rat out others many think due to his ego.

http://www.dallasmorningnews.com/

front page

APACHEWHOKNOWS on July 25, 2014 at 10:43 AM

That pretty much puts a cap on the federal exchange issue. It’s all over but the crying for the communist jackasses that pushed ZeroCare™ on the country.

dogsoldier on July 25, 2014 at 10:38 AM

This scenario is why the notorious pederast leader of the Senate changed the filibuster so that Obama could pack the DC Court of Appeals with additional judges, both of which are left wing nutters from the faculty lounge.

All cases contesting federal actions and regulations end up in the DC Circuit. Which is why Obama packed it. His authority to rule by PenNPhone isn’t in the Constitution, it’s in the nutcase judges he packed the DC Circuit with. True to Cloward-Piven, the intent here is to “overwealm” SCOTUS by making it impossible just by sheer numbers for them to overturn everything.

ConstantineXI on July 25, 2014 at 10:44 AM

What matters here is Congressional intent, not Gruber’s, to the extent that the statute itself appears ambiguous. The actual text of the law supports Gruber’s 2012 position, as both the DC and 4th Circuits found in their opposing rulings, but the 4th Circuit couldn’t quite believe that Congress intended to shaft Americans in states that didn’t set up their own exchanges.

If the text of the law is clear, as both the DC and 4th circuits admitted, then the statute is the opposite of ambiguous.

This ability to call ambiguous what is actually clear undermines the rule of law. The reason the Founders did’t put more restrictions on the judicial branch in the first place is because they expected judges to simply interpret what is written. When those same judges ignore the text of a law in order to substitute their own interpretation, they become a threat to the rule of law, and should be impeached and removed for refusal to execute their office.

There Goes the Neighborhood on July 25, 2014 at 10:46 AM

It seems farcical to think that Congress could have ANY intent in a bill they didn’t bother to read, and where a key leader of the passing party implied will find out what it is when we pass it (so all that reading is not necessary!).

I should think that implicitly empowers the intent of its authors. QED.

Axeman on July 25, 2014 at 10:47 AM

When you lie about everything, eventually you will be caught.

crrr6 on July 25, 2014 at 10:50 AM

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.

I love the obvious vindictive relish with which these a-holes coerce others into doing what they think is best.

jbspry on July 25, 2014 at 10:53 AM

“It ain’t armed robbery if the gun ain’t loaded”
-H.I. McDunnough, Raising Arizona
jangle12 on July 25, 2014 at 10:38 AM

“Son, you got a panty on your head…”

Akzed on July 25, 2014 at 10:54 AM

It seems farcical to think that Congress could have ANY intent in a bill they didn’t bother to read, and where a key leader of the passing party implied will find out what it is when we pass it (so all that reading is not necessary!).

I should think that implicitly empowers the intent of its authors. QED.

Axeman on July 25, 2014 at 10:47 AM

The problem here is that federal judges can basically rule any way they want on any case in front of them completely ignoring the facts and law if they so choose. The only possible consequence is impeachment, which is cumbersome and rare, and the same problem in that Congressmen and Senators can rule in the impeachment and trial themselves any way they wish regardless of facts or law.

This represents a FUNDAMENTAL flaw in the Republic, in that it REQUIRES men and women OF HONOR for it to work.

ConstantineXI on July 25, 2014 at 10:55 AM

So is this a smoking gun in the Halbig case?

more like smoking nothingburger.

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on July 25, 2014 at 10:41 AM

Yeah, who cares really…what’s the 12,348th lie
heaped on top of the rest before it??

Hey, did you hear, the Dems are Out Fundraising Repubs!!

So you can be proud to be an Acolyte of a collection
of money grubbing Parasites who are Rotten Liars
to the American people….Damn, Life is Good!!

ToddPA on July 25, 2014 at 10:55 AM

Kim Strassel has a column up today examining the history of the IRS rule making that led to this case, all of which has been documented in a recently completed and totally overlooked Congressional nvestigation.

The rule started out in draft form following the law text, and limiting the tax and the subsidies only to the 14 states with state exchanges. The remainder of applicants in the other 36 states would buy their insurance on the federal exchange (Healthcare.gov) and woukd pay their own costs.

The Obama administration political appointee in charge of the IRS legal process personally ordered the change to the present illegal rule. Documented fact.

MTF on July 25, 2014 at 10:55 AM

When you lie about everything, eventually you will be caught.

crrr6 on July 25, 2014 at 10:50 AM

Especially when you are a dumbass with delusions of being a genius, like Obama is.

ConstantineXI on July 25, 2014 at 10:56 AM

This scenario is why the notorious pederast leader of the Senate changed the filibuster so that Obama could pack the DC Court of Appeals with additional judges, both of which are left wing nutters from the faculty lounge.

All cases contesting federal actions and regulations end up in the DC Circuit. Which is why Obama packed it. His authority to rule by PenNPhone isn’t in the Constitution, it’s in the nutcase judges he packed the DC Circuit with. True to Cloward-Piven, the intent here is to “overwealm” SCOTUS by making it impossible just by sheer numbers for them to overturn everything.

ConstantineXI on July 25, 2014 at 10:44 AM

The odds of that impacting this case are very low. If the DC court weren’t now packed and the en banc decision held, all that would mean is that the case would be forced up to SCOTUS, either by appeal or conflict with another district court.

If the Obama packed court reverses it, which it probably will, and no other districts are in conflict (which I don’t think will end up being the case anyway). Then, you need 4 SCOTUS justices to agree to take the appeal. If neither Kennedy nor Roberts are wanting to take it voluntarily, what are the odds that they’d be willing to gut the law if you could force it up through a circuit court conflict? Probably not much better.

crrr6 on July 25, 2014 at 10:56 AM

This week, Jonathan Gruber appeared on MSNBC to assert that the DC Circuit appellate court got the ObamaCare statute all wrong in its Halbig decision. Gruber, one of the key architects of the ACA and of the Massachusetts “RomneyCare” law that preceded it, insisted that the state exchange requirement for subsidy payment was purely accidental.

Hey Ed, you accidentally outed Mitt Romney & his “RomneyCare” as the reason we have ObamaCare.

portlandon on July 25, 2014 at 11:04 AM

Hey Ed, you accidentally outed Mitt Romney & his “RomneyCare” as the reason we have ObamaCare.

portlandon on July 25, 2014 at 11:04 AM

Water under the bridge. Now that Romney successfully lost the 2012 election, it does not matter that we know not to pick him.

astonerii on July 25, 2014 at 11:09 AM

Will this be enough at the Supreme Court to demonstrate that there was a rational reason for Congress to make the distinction in the law and force the court to adopt the DC’s Halbig decision? You’d have to ask Anthony Kennedy and John Roberts that question. And I’d say the odds are good that they’ll be asked it relatively soon.

All the administration has to do is make a passing reference to a tax and Chief Justice Lawgiver-In-Black Roberts will say that, at least for the purposes of levying the individual and employer taxes (though not necessarily for the issuance of the tax credits), federal exchanges are good enough.

Steve Eggleston on July 25, 2014 at 11:09 AM

If the Obama packed court reverses it, which it probably will, and no other districts are in conflict (which I don’t think will end up being the case anyway). Then, you need 4 SCOTUS justices to agree to take the appeal. If neither Kennedy nor Roberts are wanting to take it voluntarily, what are the odds that they’d be willing to gut the law if you could force it up through a circuit court conflict? Probably not much better.

crrr6 on July 25, 2014 at 10:56 AM

In other words, corrupted, politicized court majorities trump the law.

As I said in another post in this thread, the fundamental flaw in our Republic is that it REQUIRES honorable officeholders and judges to work.

Which is why the Constitution needs to be Amended by the Article V process to account for the presence of DISHONORABLE people in Congress, the Presidency, the Judiciary, and the Bureaucracy.

ConstantineXI on July 25, 2014 at 11:12 AM

Will this be enough at the Supreme Court to demonstrate that there was a rational reason for Congress to make the distinction in the law

Explicit language denying subsidies to those in states w/o State Exchange found in the law 7x (7x!!)

Ben Nelson, former state insurance commissioner, worried Fed had too much control over exchange, thus State Exchange idea with punishment for those who don’t set the up was implemented to BUY HIS VOTE. His vote was the one that passed O-care.

Design of law very similar to other laws that condition Fed subsidies on State Behavior.

Subsidy language was removed and re-inserted several times throughout it’s construction.

It cannot be denied, given the history of this legislation, that it does not mean exactly what was written.

LetsBfrank on July 25, 2014 at 11:12 AM

You will save $2500, its not a tax, if you like your plan you can keep your plan, if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor, there are no death panels, the subsidies apply to the Federal exchange…… the Sun will come up in the West, no one will ever die, …..

NYCMike on July 25, 2014 at 11:13 AM

MTF on July 25, 2014 at 10:55 AM

Interesting. In a sane world, that would be significant, if not dispositive.

Unfortunately, we no longer live in a sane world.

AZCoyote on July 25, 2014 at 11:15 AM

Don’t post much but my son and I like to read the comments and maybe he gets to learn some things. He wants to know if anyone of the experts on here can explain what happens if the courts rule that STATE means FEDERAL with other laws where STATE and FEDERAL are spelled out.
Would this create a run of court cases? Can anyone think of a law currently on the books that would now be in question?

flahockey on July 25, 2014 at 11:16 AM

Q: You know how you can tell that the “adults are back” and the people not afraid of managing complexity, because they’re not like the conservatives who are afraid of managing complexity (another lib fable) are in power ?

A: They pass a bill no one read, and then complain there were “typos” or “draft errors”. Gee, doesn’t reading normally point out problems with a draft?

Imagine that? Managing complexity doesn’t require foresight or planning or reading, for that matter.

The adults are surely back… And the Gods of the Copybook Headings will be along shortly.

Axeman on July 25, 2014 at 11:16 AM

DOJ tried to argue ahead of time that the D.C. Circuit Appellate did not have jurisdiction over the case. They knew O-care was going down. They’re playing all the angles b/c they know what they originally meant – deny states subsidies if they don’t set up exchanges.

LetsBfrank on July 25, 2014 at 11:17 AM

flahockey on July 25, 2014 at 11:16 AM

Interesting question. It’s my understanding that DOJ does not hesitate to claim one definition for one case and use another definition for another case.

All depends on the goal.

LetsBfrank on July 25, 2014 at 11:20 AM

The problem here is that federal judges can basically rule any way they want on any case in front of them completely ignoring the facts and law if they so choose.

Oh, you don’t have to inform me about the Oligarchy in black robes that we’ve now accepted in exchange for self-government.

Stupid founders! They didn’t put in a document which organizes a government for self-government that self-government was a quintessential part of it, instead we have a inviolate rights delivery system (that the oligarchy manage with their own “tests” of various levels of sophistry, anyway).

Axeman on July 25, 2014 at 11:24 AM

Update:

THE LIAR SPEAKS:
(H/T TNR)

I honestly don’t remember why I said that. I was speaking off-the-cuff. It was just a mistake. People make mistakes. Congress made a mistake drafting the law and I made a mistake talking about it.

During this era, at this time, the federal government was trying to encourage as many states as possible to set up their exchanges. …

At this time, there was also substantial uncertainty about whether the federal backstop would be ready on time for 2014. I might have been thinking that if the federal backstop wasn’t ready by 2014, and states hadn’t set up their own exchange, there was a risk that citizens couldn’t get the tax credits right away. …

But there was never any intention to literally withhold money, to withhold tax credits, from the states that didn’t take that step. That’s clear in the intent of the law and if you talk to anybody who worked on the law. My subsequent statement was just a speak-o—you know, like a typo.

There are few people who worked as closely with Obama administration and Congress as I did, and at no point was it ever even implied that there’d be differential tax credits based on whether the states set up their own exchange. And that was the basis of all the modeling I did, and that was the basis of any sensible analysis of this law that’s been done by any expert, left and right.

I didn’t assume every state would set up its own exchanges but I assumed that subsidies would be available in every state. It was never contemplated by anybody who modeled or worked on this law that availability of subsides would be conditional of who ran the exchanges.

crrr6 on July 25, 2014 at 11:26 AM

In any case, it *should* at least cast enough doubt that the court will have to fall back to the language of the law, in which case we win there too.

crrr6 on July 25, 2014 at 10:42 AM

I agree!

dogsoldier on July 25, 2014 at 11:28 AM

I honestly don’t remember why I said that. I was speaking off-the-cuff. It was just a mistake. People make mistakes. Congress made a mistake drafting the law and I made a mistake talking about it.
 
crrr6 on July 25, 2014 at 11:26 AM

 
Once more under oath, please.
 
And while you’re up there, would you mind telling us Congress’ remedy when drafting errors occur?

rogerb on July 25, 2014 at 11:30 AM

ConstantineXI on July 25, 2014 at 10:44 AM

Even folks Zero appointed are not always taking his side. The Supremes will probably find the fed subsidies are illegal, if it gets to them.

dogsoldier on July 25, 2014 at 11:30 AM

Alternate Pelosi: “You have to pass it to see what typos and drafting errors we made.”

Axeman on July 25, 2014 at 11:32 AM

crrr6 on July 25, 2014 at 11:26 AM

There has to be more than one video of this guy doing this. If its more than once – then he can’t claim that it was a typo.

“I was lying then, but NOW!!… NOW I’m telling the truth… I promise pinky-swear.”

Defenestratus on July 25, 2014 at 11:41 AM

It doesn’t matter what we said.

It doesn’t even matter what we did!

What matters is what we intended it to mean!

ergo….We’ll do whatever we want, thank you very much, because our intentions are more noble than your intentions.

The debate in a nutshell.

Skiritae on July 25, 2014 at 11:49 AM

All the administration has to do is make a passing reference to a tax and Chief Justice Lawgiver-In-Black Roberts will say that, at least for the purposes of levying the individual and employer taxes (though not necessarily for the issuance of the tax credits), federal exchanges are good enough.

Steve Eggleston on July 25, 2014 at 11:09 AM

It seems like quite a stretch to link a very specific provision to coerce states into building an exchange to facilitate a massive expansion of wealth redistribution to be associated with a tax, but I’m pretty confident John Roberts will find the necessary intellectual gymnastics to do so if only to protect the political reputation of his court once again.

After all, he can decline to review Grubers 2012 argument advocating the verbiage to coerce states and make them a tool for expanded wealth redistribution via taxpayer funded subsidies…and still insist that the ACA is only about ‘fixing’ healthcare despite all of the evidence that this is one thing that the ACA is not intended to do.

Athos on July 25, 2014 at 11:50 AM

There has to be more than one video of this guy doing this. If its more than once – then he can’t claim that it was a typo.

“I was lying then, but NOW!!… NOW I’m telling the truth… I promise pinky-swear.”

Defenestratus on July 25, 2014 at 11:41 AM

MIT just sent out a text message:

“HDD failure in econ prof office; emerg meeting of IT staff at 1215″

BobMbx on July 25, 2014 at 11:52 AM

im sure the commentors on this site will find at least a dozen differant ways to deny obama any credit for this or spin it as a bad thing.

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on May 31, 2014 at 5:33 PM

Au contraire mon precious, this one belongs to Barry.

slickwillie2001 on July 25, 2014 at 11:54 AM

But there was never any intention to literally withhold money, to withhold tax credits, from the states that didn’t take that step. That’s clear in the intent of the law and if you talk to anybody who worked on the law. My subsequent statement was just a speak-o—you know, like a typo.

From crrr6 on July 25, 2014 at 11:26 AM’s post

Wow, the spin to undo the 2012 statement is stunning – the Admin is very worried about this – and they know that the Congress will not fix the ‘typo’ as is required by the Constitution.

Now we know Jonathan Gruber’s price to completely sell out his integrity, it comes from almost $400,000 in consulting fees along with a continued desire to whore himself for the Obama Administration.

It makes the deals that Jay Carney and Josh Earnest made to completely sell out their integrity a good buy for the Administration. Both combined cost less than the $400K to buy Gruber.

Athos on July 25, 2014 at 11:56 AM

The 4th circuit doesn’t grasp the evil that is the left.

sadatoni on July 25, 2014 at 11:58 AM

Au contraire mon precious, this one belongs to Barry.

slickwillie2001 on July 25, 2014 at 11:54 AM

Oh, I’ll give an assist to the Democrat-fascists who drafted the EpicClusterFarkNado in the dark of night, rammed it through the Senate via reconciliation without a single GOP vote, and rammed it through the House after blatantly lying to critical Democrats because not one GOP vote was in favor – in both cases pretty much without one ‘yes’ vote from anyone who read the 2,000+ page comprehensive reform to expand the power of the federal government over states and enact massive wealth redistributions – but fail to ‘fix’ the challenges in the healthcare industry.

Athos on July 25, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Part of their problem was that the (D) Senate couldn’t send it back to the (D) House for modifications because Scott Brown had taken office, and that’s why Pelosie/Reid/Obama took the no/extremely limited reconciliation route to do an end run around the (ahem) intent of appropriate legislative procedures, correct?

They had to pass Obamacare as it was to find out what was in it, and this turned out to be in it.

rogerb on July 25, 2014 at 8:31 AM

Also, if Al Franken had not won, then no ObamaCare to begin with. People talk all the time about “ballots found in trunk”, but the real story is the 1200 felons who voted in that election and most likely turned the election his way. A clear cut case for voter ID and review of voters rolls, but the main focus was on “ballots found in the trunk”.

HonestLib on July 25, 2014 at 12:01 PM

Interesting question. It’s my understanding that DOJ does not hesitate to claim one definition for one case and use another definition for another case.

All depends on the goal.

LetsBfrank on July 25, 2014 at 11:20 AM

Thanks…his next question is about setting precedent…would this do that?

Going to make him get his own login in at this rate.

flahockey on July 25, 2014 at 12:02 PM

O’care was meant to permanently alter the political landscape by making the GOP into a minority party. O’care is the blueprint for making the US into a single-party state.

By refusing subsidies to states which declined to set up an exchange, O’care’s architects thought the inhabitants of those states would angrily rise up and vote out the Republicans of those states.

This also explains the intense hatred of the Tea Party and why groups affiliated with it were harassed by the IRS. The notion that a citizenry opposed to unsustainable spending and government overreach is diametrically opposed to O’care and everything the modern-day Democratic party stands for.

This MIT doofus, O’care, Lois Lerner, the IRS, is all one and the same story.

Pest on July 25, 2014 at 12:02 PM

I hope he gets Guinea worms, and Roberts too, if he doesn’t redeem himself.

Schadenfreude on July 25, 2014 at 12:03 PM

There has to be more than one video of this guy doing this. If its more than once – then he can’t claim that it was a typo.

Defenestratus on July 25, 2014 at 11:41 AM

“can’t”? You don’t know these people very well, do you? lol

non-nonpartisan on July 25, 2014 at 12:12 PM

I honestly don’t remember why I said that. I was speaking off-the-cuff. It was just a mistake. People make mistakes. Congress made a mistake drafting the law and I made a mistake talking about it.

crrr6 on July 25, 2014 at 11:26 AM

There are some men of honor and some not so much. If Thomas Jefferson had been captured by the British, I doubt if hauled before the court he would have claimed the Declaration of Independence was just a drafting error. Gruber on the other hand—

KW64 on July 25, 2014 at 12:28 PM

but the 4th Circuit couldn’t quite believe that Congress intended to shaft Americans in states that didn’t set up their own exchanges bring themselves to overturn a law working in furtherance of a fascist takeover of the ecnomy

FIFY

GWB on July 25, 2014 at 12:29 PM

As I stated in an earlier comment right after the Halbig decision, it was clearly explained at the time of passage that the State subsidies were an incentive to establish State exchanges and to expand the Medicaid program. The States right to refuse to expand Medicaid was affirmed by the Supreme Court some years ago. If one searches, it is likely many references to the incentive can be found. The media has done such a poor job in recent times that I fear people have begun to doubt their own memories. Left wing liars only contribute to that fear.

pat on July 25, 2014 at 12:38 PM

Also, if Al Franken had not won, then no ObamaCare to begin with. People talk all the time about “ballots found in trunk”, but the real story is the 1200 felons who voted in that election and most likely turned the election his way. A clear cut case for voter ID and review of voters rolls, but the main focus was on “ballots found in the trunk”.

HonestLib on July 25, 2014 at 12:01 PM

Thank you for sharing that.

Without Dems stealing the 60th Senate seat for Al Franken, and then changing the rules in MA to allow the late Teddy Kennedy’s right-hand-man Paul Kirk to temporarily fill the vacancy left by Kennedy’s death, the Democrats would not have had the 60 votes they needed on the Dec 23, 2009 Obamacare cloture vote.

In January 2010, Scott Brown won the popular election to fill the remainder of Kennedy’s Senate term.

If democrats hadn’t stolen a Senate race in MN, and changed the rules in MA, then there never would have been 60 votes for cloture on Obamacare.

And if they hadn’t agreed to pass the House’s Obamacare “fixes” in a separate bill forced through via the reconciliation process, then the House would not have passed the Senate Obamacare bill.

So, the reality is that the reconciliation process played a huge role in passing major changes to the U.S. Healthcare system… something that the author of the reconciliation process, Senator Robert Byrd, had personally and vehemently opposed when Bill Clinton pushed to use the reconciliation process to pass a major healthcare bill in the 90′s.

ITguy on July 25, 2014 at 1:15 PM

To add just a little more context to what I wrote above…

When Democrats lost the Kennedy/Kirk 60th Senate seat in January 2010 to Republican Scott Brown, Democrats could no longer break filibusters. And the House did not want to pass the Senate bill. For a while, it looked like a stalemate, and looked like Obamacare would die.

But the Dems finally agreed amongst themselves to couple two actions together:

1) Pass the Senate bill in the House (with weak promises not to fund abortions with taxpayer money), then

2) Pass a new bill in the House with “Fixes”, including the takeover of the student loan industry, and then pass that new bill through the Senate using the Reconciliation process, requiring only 51 votes. (A reconciliation process named after Senator Robert Byrd, who made it absolutely clear in 2001 that the reconciliation process should NEVER be used to pass something as massive as a huge health care bill!)

All of that was necessary for Democrats to pass Obamacare, against the wishes of the majority of Americans and against the will of every single Republican in Congress.

The whole process, from start to finish, epitomizes the very, very worst of politics in this country, especially the corrupt practices of the Democrat Party.

ITguy on July 25, 2014 at 1:18 PM

If Gruber has ever testified under oath about this issue, I hope he gets the full brunt of a perjury charge.

But no charges will be filed while Eric Holder is the USAG, unless the thinks it is starting to damage the administration. As long as it’s only damaging the nation and the citizens, that’s okay.

s1im on July 25, 2014 at 1:49 PM

Thanks…his next question is about setting precedent…would this do that?

Going to make him get his own login in at this rate.

flahockey on July 25, 2014 at 12:02 PM

A son needs his own login, definitely!

Good question. If I understand the question (I am not a lawyer or expert) I think a precedent would be set but I don’t think it ever applies to past cases, only those going forward.

LetsBfrank on July 25, 2014 at 2:40 PM

LYING appears to be SOP for this every Democrat administration.

GarandFan on July 25, 2014 at 9:58 AM

Fixed.

HiJack on July 25, 2014 at 2:48 PM

This Gruber douchebag is a real piece of work. Here are a couple of his greatest hits:

http://www.ohio.com/editorial/jonathan-gruber-no-longer-trapped-on-the-job-1.466415

No longer trapped on the job

“…the CBO also projected that, within the next several years, health-care reform may reduce employment and worker hours by the equivalent of about 2 million full-time positions. We told you so, critics declare: Obamacare is a job killer!

But actually the CBO did not project lost jobs at all. Job leaving is not the same as job losing. Many Americans who may eventually leave jobs or reduce their work hours will do so by choice to make themselves and their families better off. Voluntary reductions are not a cost of the health-care reform law, they are a benefit.

Consider the 62-year-old worker who hates his job and who would happily retire on his Social Security benefits. Unfortunately, this worker cannot do it if he is married to a 55-year-old breast cancer survivor who does not work, and who in most states has been uninsurable in the individual insurance market before the new law. If that worker left his job, he and his uninsurable wife would face catastrophic medical bills. Now, with health-care reform ensuring his access to affordable coverage, this man is no longer trapped. This is a good outcome.

Rather than make the untenable claim that everyone’s current job is a moral duty, our aim should be to level the playing field in the labor market so people can make decisions to work or not — or how many hours to put in — for good personal and economic reasons, not because they are fettered to an employer health insurance plan.”

No matter to the socialists that it comes at someone else’s expense.

Strike 2:

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/DC-Decoder/2013/1118/Obamacare-101-Why-do-men-need-to-buy-maternity-coverage

Obamacare 101: Why do men need to buy maternity coverage?

“More broadly, Obamacare is dependent upon a maximum number of people buying into it to share the costs, spread the risk, and make it sustainable – hence the individual mandate that forces all Americans to buy health insurance or face a penalty. But eliminating “substandard” individual plans is another way to do this and – this is key – end policy and pricing discrimination.

Take the maternity insurance example.

If you didn’t include maternity coverage, insurers could charge women more than men for insurance, notes Jonathan Gruber, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who helped design the Massachusetts health plan and advised on Obamacare. Why should women be discriminated against just because they are the only ones, biologically speaking, who can bring children into the world?”

Why should you pay more if you get more? Oh, I don’t know…maybe because THAT’S HOW IT WORKS IN EVERY OTHER FREAKING AREA OF LIFE.

Now comes this blatant lying about the exchanges. Three strikes, and this evil chimera, part diplicitous academic and part disingenuous bureaucrat, is OUT.

Let the name of Gruber be stricken from every book and tablet, stricken from all pylons and obelisks, stricken from every monument … Let the name of Gruber be unheard and unspoken, erased from the memory of men for all time.

(Bonus points if you can identify the source)

jmad on July 25, 2014 at 6:40 PM

Comment pages: 1 2