Video: ObamaCare architect brags about lack of transparency in law

posted at 9:31 am on November 10, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

It’s not the first time that Jonathan Gruber’s past remarks on ObamaCare have come back to bite him, but perhaps it’s the most honest assessment of the process that produced the bill he both helped create and advocated. Last July, as a federal appeals court mulled over the text and intent of the subsidy structure, a 2012 video emerged in which Gruber insisted that the limitation of tax credits was intended to force states into supporting ObamaCare — the exact opposite of what the Obama administration argued in Halbig. Gruber later called that a “speak-o,” to the amusement of many.

In a video from 2013 unearthed by the Daily Signal, Gruber at least avoids undermining the legal defense of ObamaCare. Instead, Gruber undermines the political defense of it by depicting Democrats as intentionally dishonest about the bill during its drafting to snooker the CBO, and laughs at the “stupidity of the American voter” while declaring that he’s all about the ends rather than the means:

The conservative group American Commitment posted Jonathan Gruber’s remarks, reportedly from an Oct. 17, 2013, event, on YouTube.

“Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage,” says the MIT economist who helped write Obamacare. “And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical for the thing to pass.”

Gruber goes a little farther than that. He tells the crowd that the bill was written to fake out the CBO — which is the Congress’ own analytical group. “This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes,” Gruber tells the audience with a smile. “If CBO scores the mandate as taxes, the bill dies.” The CBO did a lot more than just decide whether or not to score the mandate as a tax, though. Democrats insisted that CBO’s initial scoring showed that the bill was deficit-neutral in its first ten years, thanks to transparently self-serving dodges like trawling revenue before making outlays a few years later. How much else did Democrats lie to get that initially positive scoring? How much else are Democrats still hiding about the ACA and the HHS implementation of it?

Voters sent a message to Democrats on Tuesday that they were tired of their condescension and contempt. Gruber’s video makes it plain that voters did get that message from Democrats from “Sweet Pea” ads and Kochsteria distraction attempts. Voters in 2016 had better remember this lesson.


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Which now leaves Roberts perfectly free to find that, “…enrolled through an Exchange established by the State under section 1311…” is clear and unambiguous on its face, thereby denying subsidies for federal exchange enrollees.

Barnestormer on November 10, 2014 at 12:41 PM

I was “clear in the ACA text” that they didn’t want it to be a “tax” and Roberts MADE it one.

Here’s hoping that you are right on the next Roberts decision, alas. He could change the text again, or send it to the congress to do so…now not with Pelosi/Reid in the thuggish majority.

Schadenfreude on November 10, 2014 at 12:58 PM

Jonathan Gruber is the guy who “advised” Mitt Romney on RomneyCare WELL before ObamaCare.

Let’s not forget this.

portlandon on November 10, 2014 at 11:27 AM

Needed a bump.

Schadenfreude on November 10, 2014 at 12:59 PM

So Nancy Pelosi’s, “We have to pass the bill to see what is in it!” WAS TOTALLY A FACTUAL AND THOUGHT OUT STATEMENT!

fbcmusicman on November 10, 2014 at 12:59 PM

Also, needed to be quoted

Jonathan Gruber is the guy who “advised” Mitt Romney on RomneyCare WELL before ObamaCare.

Let’s not forget this.

portlandon on November 10, 2014 at 11:27 AM

Schadenfreude on November 10, 2014 at 1:00 PM

“Well, yeah, sure – I’d like to have an entire world full of revolutionary cadres, but, call it the stupidity of the proletariat or whatever – if we let it be known that millions will be killed or sent to the gulags, well, we’ll never have our workers’ paradise and, like, I’d rather have this revolution than not have it so, if we have to crack a few eggs to make our omelet, well, so be it.”

-Vladimir Lenin –

jbspry on November 10, 2014 at 1:09 PM

H/t ITguy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOMwdZ6K0tI

Schadenfreude on November 10, 2014 at 1:20 PM

“Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage,” says the MIT economist who helped write Obamacare. “And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical for the thing to pass.”

This is a political ad that needs to be run by the GOP when they begin sending repeal bills to the White House…..and again when 2016 comes around.

goflyers on November 10, 2014 at 1:26 PM

Um…A day before that video was “unearthed” by the Daily Signal it was featured on NewsBusters when it had only a couple of dozen views on YouTube.

pjcomix on November 10, 2014 at 1:30 PM

Schadenfreude on November 10, 2014 at 12:58 PM

Whether by objective measures it’s a tax or not, the video does make clear that there was considerable fear by proponents that OMB would score it as a tax, and that avoiding such a result involved deliberate obfuscation of the sleaziest variety. My point was that such evidence argues in favor of the legitimacy of Roberts’ tax finding, and not against it. And suggests that his earlier ruling in Sebelius may be less an indication that he’s determined to prop up Obamacare and come out “wrong again” (in King) than many Obamacare opponents fear. But like you, I’m hoping–not predicting.

Barnestormer on November 10, 2014 at 1:31 PM

IF the Republicans are the Stupid Party, then why are the majority of idiots that voted for this abortion the Dimocrats?

Closet Optimist on November 10, 2014 at 12:00 PM

I believe that the word you’re looking for to describe the Demoncrats and the Demoncrat Voters is as thus : EVIL.

HikaruKitsune on November 10, 2014 at 1:57 PM

This clip should be made into a GOP commercial and run at least once a week in prime time to show the voters what the dems think of them. It’s priceless.

Jackson on November 10, 2014 at 1:57 PM

Barnstormer, my point is that the law is what it is written, not what anyone intended it to be and Roberts was a fool.

Here’s hoping he’ll redress, by reading the text as it exists, and sending it back to congress to fix. I don’t car what obama signs or not. Get them on the record.

Schadenfreude on November 10, 2014 at 2:03 PM

Gruber has just confessed that there was a conspiracy to commit fraud against the government of the United States and that he and his co-conspirators did in fact commit fraud against the United States government.

These are very serious felonies.

Kevin R on November 10, 2014 at 2:05 PM

What in the world is wrong with the Republican party that this was not a leading clip on every political ad run in 2014? It was unearthed in late 2013. Who are we paying to do opposition research? Who are we paying to design campaigns and campaign ads? Are we that freaking incompetent that the Democrats can come out and openly admit — laughing — that they intentionally lied to the “stupid American voters” to force Obamacare down our throats… and our well-paid, full time political operatives don’t even notice?

It’s a complete miracle that we ever get anyone elected to anything.

SRQ on November 10, 2014 at 2:08 PM

This is a ready made campaign commercial… and the campaign starts NOW!!

Khun Joe on November 10, 2014 at 2:16 PM

“Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage,” says the MIT economist who helped write Obamacare. “And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical for the thing to pass.”

How about, the stupidity of the American ” lefty useful idiot ” voter?

Mr Soames on November 10, 2014 at 2:31 PM

How do all the Obama loving saps feel now? Like being used and called dumb? We told you what Oabamcare was all about but you would not listen. Now suck it up and pay your bill.

kings on November 10, 2014 at 2:57 PM

Why would Roberts care?

There is no spot in hell hot enough for that man.

ElectricPhase on November 10, 2014 at 10:09 AM

Really? There is no spot in Hell hot enough for making an incorrect ruling on Obamacare as a member of the Supreme Court? No, that doesn’t seem an extreme reaction at all…

I vehemently disagree with Roberts on this issue. But there are a lot of other issues he has gotten right, too. If you don’t think the court is in far better hands with him as Chief Justice than it would be with Ginsburg in the same spot, then you’re burying your head in the sand.

Shump on November 10, 2014 at 10:56 AM

Maybe I’m all alone among conservatives in this, but … is there anyone else out there who think that, long-term, Roberts did the country a favor (perhaps unintentionally) with his previous vote?

I mean, ten years from now, which would you rather have people saying when they look at the rubble that was Obamacare on the ash heap of history?

(a) Obamacare was a wonderful idea that could have greatly improved the health-care system for everyone, but it wasn’t given a chance because it got squished by a partisan Supreme Court on a technicality.

(b) Obamacare was a shining example of how huge government programs that promise Utopia turn out to be huge disasters, and we need to make sure nothing like this is ever foisted on the American people again.

A vote to strike down Obamacare as unconstitutional would have deprived us of the opportunity to see firsthand just what a disaster it was–and, quite possibly, removed the biggest reason the Republicans were able to take over the Senate. I’m not saying that was Roberts’ intention. But I do have a hunch that letting this godawful mess of a program survive long enough to collapse under the weight of its own folly may turn out to be the best thing for America.

ajb3 on November 10, 2014 at 2:58 PM

Jonathan Gruber is the guy who “advised” Mitt Romney on RomneyCare WELL before ObamaCare.

Let’s not forget this.

But make sure you remember to forget correctly.

Actually, he advised the MA Health and Human Services Department on economic modelling, comparing a Public Option or Universal care to requiring mandatory insurance. Romney REJECTED his legislative ideas, and vetoed other parts of the law the democrats in the legislature wanted. At the time the MA legislature was persuing, once again, Medicaid for all.

Grubers numbers were used to persuade them that very few people in MA needed coverage, and that there was no need for everyone to give up their coverage in favor of Government insurance for all; and it could be done cheaply by helping low income people afford the kind of mini plans that ObamaCare prohibits, and avoided expanding Medicaid to so many people.

Why is this reasoning important? Because it is the democrat theme of how to fix Obamacare.

MA is a health care rich state, and though you hear that there are wait times for this or that, a big reason is that Massachusetts provides health care for the entire United States, and for people from all over the world.

There is no restriction that MA medical schools, private hospital networks and extensive array of gourmet medical specialist must only see MA residents.

There is no comparison of a mandate and system to provide health insurance for 6% of the people to inflicting Obamacare on the nation, many places in which there is a dearth of options.

Fleuries on November 10, 2014 at 3:34 PM

y’all will be thanking roberts in the future for taking the court out of being the final arbiter of everything. this law will crash and burn all on its own with people being able to experience it firsthand and for themselves. it will take a few more elections to educate citizens, even the new ones, that you can’t kill the goose just to have a full belly! the next trick will be to get the congress to reign in the abuse of power by dear leader. we have an invasion coming with the help of this traitor and he needs to be stopped.

tm11999 on November 10, 2014 at 3:42 PM

A vote to strike down Obamacare as unconstitutional would have deprived us of the opportunity to see firsthand just what a disaster it was–and, quite possibly, removed the biggest reason the Republicans were able to take over the Senate. I’m not saying that was Roberts’ intention. But I do have a hunch that letting this godawful mess of a program survive long enough to collapse under the weight of its own folly may turn out to be the best thing for America.

ajb3 on November 10, 2014 at 2:58 PM

No, you are overthinking it through the prism of politics.

Any time you have an opportunity to prevent tyranny you take it. These opportunities almost never manifest.

The hell with political party victories.

fossten on November 10, 2014 at 3:52 PM

Actually, it’s the stupidity of the Democratic congress. No Republican voted for this and most Americans were against it. The only stupidity on display here is of elected Democrats.

AC1995 on November 10, 2014 at 4:08 PM

Jonathan Gruber is the guy who “advised” Mitt Romney on RomneyCare WELL before ObamaCare.

Let’s not forget this.

portlandon on November 10, 2014 at 11:27 AM

Needed a bump.

Schadenfreude on November 10, 2014 at 12:59 PM

And another bump courtesy of ole Gryph.

gryphon202 on November 10, 2014 at 4:16 PM

Gruber has just confessed that there was a conspiracy to commit fraud against the government people of the United States and that he and his co-conspirators did in fact commit fraud against the United States government people.

These are very serious felonies.

Kevin R on November 10, 2014 at 2:05 PM

And I’m afraid since these felonies were committed by the government on the people, the government will never be held to account.

gryphon202 on November 10, 2014 at 4:17 PM

If you don’t think the court is in far better hands with him as Chief Justice than it would be with Ginsburg in the same spot, then you’re burying your head in the sand.

Shump on November 10, 2014 at 10:56 AM

That’s a fine straw man you’ve built there.

RJL on November 10, 2014 at 4:23 PM

If you don’t think the court is in far better hands with him as Chief Justice than it would be with Ginsburg in the same spot, then you’re burying your head in the sand.

Shump on November 10, 2014 at 10:56 AM

And yet somehow you’re not ready to reject the notion that nine unelected black robes should decide what is and isn’t constitutional?

This is why we can’t have nice things, America.

gryphon202 on November 10, 2014 at 4:25 PM

“call it the stupidity of the American voter”

“You’re a conspiracy theorist! You’re a racist nutjob! You don’t know what you’re talking about! Tea-tard! Economic terrorist! You hate poor people! You don’t want people to get good healthcare! You hate women and keep them in binders!” Blah blah.

This is why I say no quarter, no mercy. Hit them hard whenever you can. Logic and rhetoric. Its sad how many more people who “believe in science” would only take me seriously on this after I had cancer last year and could tell them how much more it would’ve cost me just a year later if on obozocare. A woman has the right to choose for her reproductive rights but not the rest of her body and men… well they just need to keep on working and paying taxes, those evil sexist pigs.

Repeal the damn law.
It is the very definition of slavery. This thug just admits they have to lie to get a law passed because it won’t pencil out with open discussion or “transparency”.

Don’t fix it GOP, repeal it. Make the healthcare industry and insurance industry actually compete. But then, you wouldn’t get cushy jobs and other payoffs from lobbyists.

oryguncon on November 10, 2014 at 4:56 PM

Don’t fix it GOP, repeal it. Make the healthcare industry and insurance industry actually compete. But then, you wouldn’t get cushy jobs and other payoffs from lobbyists.

oryguncon on November 10, 2014 at 4:56 PM

You don’t think they will, do you? I’d love nothing more than to believe they will, but history doesn’t give me a lot of hope.

gryphon202 on November 10, 2014 at 5:06 PM

Hard to tell who is more dishonest: the architect of Romneycare, or the architect of Obamneycare….

There Goes the Neighborhood on November 10, 2014 at 5:09 PM

I think as a campaign against the suffering of the people, the suffering of those burdened with Obama Care Crisis win over the suffering of the government workers who get the day off when Obama won’t eat his peas and sign the repeal.

We could send a bill to the White House only funding essential services. That is my preference, not just Obama Care, but shut the whole thing down. Send bills to Obama’s desk…to keep the Veterans Memeorial open, and keep the military going, and let him refuse to sign them.

It will take money, to advertise to the people that the tools are on his desk, because the media will lie for him. We will need the conservative PACS to get to work Educating the people. I am fine with a shut down. People I know who work in private sector jobs in the Beltway, say you can drive to work easier when the do nothings stay home.

Fleuries on November 10, 2014 at 5:23 PM

You don’t think they will, do you? I’d love nothing more than to believe they will, but history doesn’t give me a lot of hope.

gryphon202 on November 10, 2014 at 5:06 PM

Hope springs eternal my friend. :)

But “Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition” might be a more appropriate strategy unfortunately.

oryguncon on November 10, 2014 at 5:40 PM

The TV spots write themselves. “Obamacare architect admits law was written to deceive. Brags about fooling voters. Laughs at voters describes them as stupid.

bluesdoc70 on November 10, 2014 at 5:42 PM

Hope springs eternal my friend. :)

But “Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition” might be a more appropriate strategy unfortunately.

oryguncon on November 10, 2014 at 5:40 PM

Remember how we mocked the Dems for their “Hope and Change” slogan in ’08? Pepperidge Farm remembers. :P

gryphon202 on November 10, 2014 at 6:22 PM

The TV spots write themselves. “Obamacare architect admits law was written to deceive. Brags about fooling voters. Laughs at voters describes them as stupid.

bluesdoc70 on November 10, 2014 at 5:42 PM

Which is precisely why the Republicans won’t do shit with it. Too easy.

gryphon202 on November 10, 2014 at 6:24 PM

So Nancy Pelosi’s, “We have to pass the bill to see what is in it!” WAS TOTALLY A FACTUAL AND THOUGHT OUT STATEMENT!

fbcmusicman on November 10, 2014 at 12:59 PM

.
Sure it was … and all of us here at Hotair, saw right through it the first moment she said it.

Just like we saw right through Rep John Conyers stupid claim that it was too much effort to read the bill :

“I love these members that get up and say, Read the bill ! … Well, what good is reading the bill if it’s a thousand pages and you don’t have two days and two lawyers to find out what it means after you’ve read the bill?”

Congressman John Conyers

.
Why didn’t you have sufficient time and resources (lawyers) to “read the bill,” BEFORE it was signed into law, Congressman ?

Passing a one thousand (1000) page bill, “to find out what’s in it,” is either a gross negligence and irresponsibility … OR you were a willing participant in purporting a “con-job” on the citizens of the United States.

Which was it, Congressman ?

listens2glenn on November 10, 2014 at 7:55 PM

says the MIT economist

That is the thought that wakes me up at 0300…this arrogant, sniveling little c*nt is teaching economics…at MIT.

Even Paul Krugman isn’t this blatantly red.

I used to worry about pedohiles trying to attack my child…now I worry about her teachers attacking her mind.

a5minmajor on November 10, 2014 at 7:58 PM

Tragically we have too many idiots in our country who would vote for a 3rd and 4th Term of this BS.

For the moment we are able to speak relatively free here, but we have lost the country we loved. Although we ousted a lot of Democrats last week, we still have RINO’s in leadership positions who are willing to do what Obama wants. i.e. McConnell and Boehner. So we have achieved very little.

Nat George on November 10, 2014 at 8:32 PM

Maybe I’m all alone among conservatives in this, but … is there anyone else out there who think that, long-term, Roberts did the country a favor (perhaps unintentionally) with his previous vote?

ajb3 on November 10, 2014 at 2:58 PM

I think your point is totally valid. Obamacare was one of those things the Dems were going to push for come hell or high water. Healthcare reform (as a vehicle for control, not actually helping people) has been a dream of the Left for decades. If it had been struck down–by a “conservative” court no less–that would have been a key argument–a rallying cry, even…something like the “War on Women” madness only on steroids–for voting out Republicans at every opportunity and trying the same thing by another route with a Democrat supermajority in Congress…because, tragically, Gruber and his conspirators had an ample supply of willingly bamboozled voters on which to rely.

I can picture the endless stream of hospital-gown-clad “victims” lined up to denounce Republicans from sea to shining sea for murdering them/impoverishing their families/holding back the progress of medicine and on and on and on. I bet we would’ve had a daily death count reported, like for Iraq, too, if Obamacare had been struck down. And every economic woe would’ve been tied to rising medical costs and the striking down of Obamacare. And all Republicans could say in their defense is all the things they said the first time around that people pretty much ignored or dismissed.

The survival of Obamacare played a pretty big role in finally turning public opinion against Obama and the Dems. Not scandal after scandal, not overseas embarrassment after overseas embarrassment, not even the appalling persecution of Obama’s political enemies by the IRS. What finally gave people pause about the direction the president was taking the country? When stories started coming out about the horrors of Obamacare as it was actually being experienced. When people realized they really couldn’t keep their doctors. When people realized their deductibles made their policies pretty much worthless except in the case of extreme circumstances. When people realized their premiums were going through the roof. No one believed those opposed to the law were anything but racists/sexists/uneducated hicks/haters/etc. until then. Even in the early days of signing up, plenty of people were still sure it was going to be the best deal ever.

People will disagree. And there’s no question that the way things have played out has been excruciating in its misery and terrifying in its implications for the future of the country. There’s also no question that the reasoning in the case upholding Obamacare was bizarre and beyond disappointing. And I say all this as someone who absolutely hates the awfulness that has been inflicted on so many innocent people by that terrible, terrible law. But when part of the electorate is so blind in their devotion to Obama or the Dems that they, even now, cannot admit to any failings on the part of Obamacare and another part of the electorate has been numbed to the truth and hardened to truth-tellers by lie after lie after lie by the media, brutal reality is the only teacher left. Obamacare as actual law has served as just such a teacher–and a pretty effective one, at that.

Incidentally…and this was really why I logged in to comment before I got sidetracked…how scary is it to think that the opposition aimed toward those of us “non-stupid” voters by Dems like Gruber is opposition aimed toward us not because people like Gruber think we’re wrong but because people like Gruber know we’re right? Wow. Twisted. And it drives home the point that compromise with them is not only worthless as a gesture but practically suicidal.

butterflies and puppies on November 10, 2014 at 8:38 PM

I’m shocked I tell you! Shocked!

tbear44 on November 10, 2014 at 10:06 PM

One wonders if Gruber is going to pull a Lena Dunham and threaten legal action for–oh, the injustice!–quoting him.

Archangel Nation on November 10, 2014 at 10:28 PM

“Well, yeah, sure – I’d like to have an entire world full of revolutionary cadres, but, call it the stupidity of the proletariat or whatever – if we let it be known that millions will be killed or sent to the gulags, well, we’ll never have our workers’ paradise and, like, I’d rather have this revolution than not have it so, if we have to crack a few eggs to make our omelet, well, so be it.”

-Vladimir Lenin –

jbspry on November 10, 2014 at 1:09 PM

Indeed.

Incidentally…and this was really why I logged in to comment before I got sidetracked…how scary is it to think that the opposition aimed toward those of us “non-stupid” voters by Dems like Gruber is opposition aimed toward us not because people like Gruber think we’re wrong but because people like Gruber know we’re right? Wow. Twisted. And it drives home the point that compromise with them is not only worthless as a gesture but practically suicidal.

butterflies and puppies on November 10, 2014 at 8:38 PM

AesopFan on November 10, 2014 at 11:15 PM

And there you have it. A know it all progressive admitting that the ends justify the means. After all, the American people are just too stupid to know what’s good for them. Professor Gruber is a condescending jackass. Not very different than President Obama.

leigh39 on November 10, 2014 at 11:40 PM

What a sanctimonious a$$.

terlizzi99 on November 10, 2014 at 11:55 PM

Obamacare should be eliminated simply because those who wrote the bill deliberately lied. They should also be convicted of a crime against the American People. It’s time we hold Congress to a higher standard.

Irish54 on November 11, 2014 at 10:11 AM

Irish54 – You make too much sense . . . for a country that is so stupid. We have the best tools and technology in history and yet we use it in such ignorant ways.

I couldn’t agree with you more about prosecuting people and holding Congress to a higher standard. I’m not sure that they would know that standard if it hit them in the face though.

Nat George on November 11, 2014 at 11:10 AM

Except that …

American voters didn’t vote for this.

Obamacare was passed via Congress not the voters.

American majorities have consistently voted against Obamacare by electing new Congress representatives with anti-Obamacare platforms.

Lawrence on November 11, 2014 at 12:03 PM

In the USC, there is a law code that makes it a crime to mislead the American people. Holder chooses to ignore it.

jake49 on November 11, 2014 at 12:17 PM

This Gruber video must be played and sent to all you know.

All Rs need to incorporate it into any of their initiatives and into any runs for any offices.

It is the kernel of the USA Left, pure and simple.

Schadenfreude on November 11, 2014 at 12:39 PM

In the USC, there is a law code that makes it a crime to mislead the American people. Holder chooses to ignore it.

jake49 on November 11, 2014 at 12:17 PM

You know how many crimes the government has been guilty of in the last 100 years, Jake? If lying to the people in order to pass legislation under false pretenses is illegal, then the government’s crimes stretch back to at least 1913.

gryphon202 on November 11, 2014 at 12:40 PM

Fire

Schadenfreude on November 11, 2014 at 5:38 PM

It was American voter’s representatives that were stupid or just evil. That would be all the democrats since not one republican voted for it. The majority of Americans did not want this health care pos.

TfromV on November 11, 2014 at 7:28 PM