MIT economist Jonathan Gruber is one of the foremost architects of Obamacare, having bragged that he "knows more about this law" than anyone else in his field. He's also emerged as an unintentional one-man wrecking ball against Obamacare, making public statements that have undermined the Obama administration's legal and political defenses of the president's signature domestic legacy. Over the summer, a three-judge panel on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals dealt a substantial blow to the law, ruling that the legislative text means what is says on a critical subject. As written and signed into law, Obamacare specifies that only consumers who live in states (a term that is explicitly defined) that set up their own "exchange" marketplace are eligible to receive taxpayer-funded subsidies to offset high costs.
If ultimately upheld, this would mean that customers who reside in the majority of states that rely on the hastily-assembled federal exchange facilitated by Healthcare.gov are ineligible for subsidies -- without which costs become prohibitively expensive. When this decision came down, Gruber and others in his ideological camp insisted that the law they designed was never, ever intended to exclude consumers in federal marketplaces. To argue otherwise, Gruber announced on MSNBC, would be akin to criminality. But then the video tapes came to light. Prior to the law's full implementation, Gruber had repeatedly confirmed the "criminal" assertions of Obamacare opponents, warning states that they must erect their own exchanges in order to qualify their citizens for generous benefits. Caught red-handed in a major lie, Gruber weakly muttered that he'd committed "speak-o's" (as opposed to typos), and refused to comment further. The Supreme Court is taking up the subsidy eligibility question this coming term. Buckle up. Then came this clip, which Katie posted on Monday:
Here, Gruber exults in the opacity of Obamacare, grinning that Democrats' lack of transparency and the public's "stupidity" allowed the bill to go through in the first place. If people had really known what was in the law -- particularly regarding its taxation and redistributive mechanisms -- "it would not have passed." Gruber once again took to MSNBC yesterday to clean up after his own mess:
On MSNBC Tuesday, Gruber told Ronan Farrow that he “spoke inappropriately” when he made the comments, which surfaced this week in an online video. “The comments in the video were made at an academic conference,” Gruber said. “I was speaking off the cuff and I basically spoke inappropriately and I regret having made those comments.”
The reality is that the elite leftist social engineers who foisted this monstrosity upon an unwilling public are absolutely remorseless about lying to our faces about it (see update). The ends justify the means, period. Who needs honesty when there's an ideological project to support? Plus, those annoying, moronic Americans won't really know the difference anyway. One of Obamacare's intellectual godfathers has now admitted that the law's sales pitch was predicated on a series of distortions. His half-hearted, belated apology is damage control, pure and simple. Maine Senator Angus King -- a self-proclaimed "independent," who's reversed his pledge to caucus with the majority party now that Republicans have won -- doesn't think Gruber's admission is a big deal. And if you disagree, you want to strip people of their healthcare, or something:
KILMEADE: They just lied about a health plan to the American people, called the stupidity of the American voter and bragged about the lack of transparency.
KING: This is one guy. I don’t know who this guy was. All I know is that it’s important for people to have health insurance. And if you guys are saying people shouldn’t have health insurance, I don’t know where you’re coming from.
GUILFOYLE: That’s not what we’re saying, sir.
KING: Are you that cruel?
Are you that obtuse, Senator? Jonathan Gruber isn't just some random guy. And he's far from the only Democrat to lie about the law's contents and manner in which it was passed. "All I know is that it's important for people to have health insurance," he says, as if that's a salient defense of a failing law. Obamacare kicked millions of people off of their preferred insurance plans (with millions more to come), is signing up far fewer newly-insured consumers than projected, is hurting many more people than it's helping, and is still expected by the government to leave roughly 30 million Americans without insurance. Which is more pitiful: Gruber's walk-back, or Sen. King's "oh well/how dare you" defense?
UPDATE - Will Gruber apologize again?