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.