The hits keep coming: Gruber celebrates ‘mislabeling’ Obamacare in video #6
posted at 4:41 pm on November 14, 2014 by Noah Rothman
The hits just keep on rolling in. After the previously unknown investment advisor Rich Weinstein established that there was a literal trove of videos featuring Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber speaking candidly and in strikingly impolitic ways about the health care reform law and the American public he helped deceive, the mainstream press is now getting in on the act.
The sixth installment in the series of videos featuring Gruber crucifying himself was uncovered by CNN’s Jake Tapper:
The issue at hand in this sixth video is known as the “Cadillac tax,” which was represented as a tax on employers’ expensive health insurance plans. While employers do not currently have to pay taxes on health insurance plans they provide employees, starting in 2018, companies that provide health insurance that costs more than $10,200 for an individual or $27,500 for a family will have to pay a 40 percent tax.
Much like the videos uncovered by Weinstein, Tapper discovered the sixth video also hiding in plain sight posted on the Pioneer Institute’s public policy research website. The relevant remarks begin at the 30:38 mark:
In those 2011 remarks, Gruber said that, despite the fact that most members of his profession agree employer-based health insurance tax breaks were bad policy, “it turns out politically it’s really hard to get rid of.”
He said that the Affordable Care Act helped to do away with this system in two ways. The first, “by mislabeling it, calling it a tax on insurance plans rather than a tax on people when we all know it’s a tax on people who hold those insurance plans.” And secondly, by delaying the implementation of this tax until 2018. “But by starting it late, we were able to tie the cap for Cadillac Tax to CPI, not medical inflation,” Gruber said.
“This was the only political way we were ever going to take on what is one of the worst public policies in America, and every economist should celebrate this,” Gruber insisted.
“It’s on the books now,” Gruber added of the 2018 implementation deadline at which point he anticipated employers and unions would seek to have this tax repealed. “At that point, if they want to get rid of it they’re going to have to fill a trillion dollar hole in the deficit.”
Tapper concluded by noting why Gruber’s latest remarks expose even more duplicity on the part of the White House in their effort to pass Obamacare:
When the Cadillac tax was first rolled out, it was explained by Obamacare backers as a tax that would only impact those with “high end plans” — not all employer sponsored plans. A White House economic adviser in 2009 set “the record straight” by saying “the excise tax levied on insurance companies for high-premium plans, the so-called ‘Cadillac tax,’ will affect only a small portion of the very highest cost health plans — a total of 3% of premiums in 2013.”
As a closing thought, you will not regret reading National Review’s Rich Lowry who today thanked Gruber for not disguising the abject contempt with which the technocratic left holds the public they are purportedly serving.
“He has done us all a favor by affording us an unvarnished look into the progressive mind, which values complexity over simplicity, favors indirect taxes and impositions on the American public so their costs can be hidden, and has a dim view of the average American,” Lowry wrote. “An assumption that Americans are incompetent is woven into the Left’s worldview. It is reluctant to entrust individuals with free choice for fear they will exercise it poorly and irresponsibly.”
In displaying such naked disdain for the public, Gruber has performed his very best, and likely last, service to the American people.