Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber is perhaps Republicans’ best weapon in their fight to dismantle the sweeping health care reform law.
Gruber, who forcefully insisted that the basis of the upcoming Supreme Court case King vs. Burwell is based only on a “typo” in the Affordable Care Act, was captured on camera not long ago insisting that the language in the ACA denying federal subsidies to states that do not elect to set up their own exchanges was by design.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor later admitted that the law was designed in a deceptive manner in order to prompt the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office to score it in a manner conducive to passage. “This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes,” Gruber said. “If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies.”
“Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage,” he added, essentially endorsing the opaque practices used by Democratic legislators to create and pass the behemoth health care reform bill. If it sounds like he’s congratulating himself and his fellow Democrats for pulling one over on the American people, you’re not imagining things.
“Call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical to get the thing to pass,” Gruber went on to say.
As if Obamacare was not unpopular enough already.
The Boston Herald revealed that they repeatedly reached Gruber by phone to comment on his past statements, but the professor repeatedly refused to elaborate on his comments.
Betraying the gravity of his insults, Gruber broke his silence on Tuesday and appeared on the friendliest venue imaginable – MSNBC with host Ronan Farrow – in order to clarify his remarks and apologize for insulting the American people.
Gruber repeated his claim that his comments at an academic conference in which he conceded that the law was designed to nudge states into creating their own state exchanges was the result of him speaking off the cuff; a “speak-o,” as he told The New Republic. He added that he “spoke inappropriately” when he took credit for pulling the wool over the eyes of the American people in order to ensure the passage of the Affordable Care Act.
Gruber further reiterated his insistence that the ACA is an “incomplete law with some typos” – a claim which even Vox finds dubious.
Farrow called Gruber’s comments “nuanced” and expressed some sympathy for Democratic legislators who had to craft and pass the ACA behind closed doors. How understanding.
Something suggests that this is not going to entirely clear up the controversy surrounding Gruber’s remarks. Surely, Republicans are rooting for him to keep clarifying all the way up until the Court issues its verdict on the ACA’s “typo” in the summer.