Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber – who has been making headlines this week after a video surfaced of him admitting the law was meant to take advantage of the “stupidity of the American voter” – acknowledged that the administration knew U.S. workers would lose their job-based health insurance when President Obama’s signature legislation took effect.
“If you like your health-care plan, you can keep it,” Obama said numerous times when pitching the new law.
But by fall 2013, more than 4 million Americans were getting cancellation letters in their mailboxes.
As it turns out, Gruber, also an MIT economics professor, apparently knew it would happen – reportedly comparing U.S. workers losing their insurance to people “falling off a building.”
In a Nov. 13 piece for Time magazine, reporter Kate Pickert wrote, “I’ve talked to Gruber many times over the past six years. He’s a good source because he’s smart, candid and was privy to the Democratic behind-the-scenes thinking and maneuvering that preceded passage of the Affordable Care Act.”
Pickert recalled a particular conversation she had with Gruber: “In 2013, for instance, I asked Gruber if Democrats understood that the ACA would slowly and methodically erode the system under which millions of Americans get health insurance through their jobs. In pitching the ACA, Democrats had been adamant that the law would support and sustain the employer-based system, not erode it. But Gruber knew better and he told me so, likening workers being kicked off job-based health plans to people ‘falling off a building,’ an outcome that architects of the ACA knew was likely and had planned for“ (italics added).
In February this year, the Congressional Budget Office released its annual Budget and Economic Outlook, projecting, as a result of Obamacare,”between 6 million and 7 million fewer people will have employment-based insurance coverage each year from 2016 through 2024 than would be the case in the absence of the ACA.”
The Washington Times reported taxpayers paid Gruber millions for his work on Obamacare. Not only did he receive hundreds of thousands from the White House, but many states paid him as much as $400,000 each to produce reports praising the health-care law.
‘Stupidity of the American voter’
As WND reported earlier this week, the conservative group American Commitment discovered Gruber’s “stupidity of the American voter” comments in a YouTube video filmed at an event in October 2013. The comments came less than three weeks into the chaotic open enrollment of the federal health-care exchange. Gruber offered an unguarded view of the White House approach to the health-care debate in 2009-2010.
“This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure that CBO (the Congressional Budget Office) did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scores the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. OK. So it’s written to do that,” Gruber said. “In terms of risk-rated subsidies, if you had a law that made it explicit that the healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed.”
Gruber’s attitude toward winning over enough of the public to get the law approved was even more blunt.
“Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. Call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical to getting the thing to pass,” he said.
The following is a video of Gruber making the statement:
‘Obama’s not a stupid man’
In yet another video released Thursday, Gruber told college students at the College of the Holy Cross on March 11, 2010, that Democrats deceptively pushed Obamacare as a bill that would control soaring health costs, but there was never any guarantee Obamacare could actually do that.
“Barack Obama’s not a stupid man, OK?” Gruber said. “He knew when he was running for president that, quite frankly, the American public doesn’t actually care that much about the uninsured. … What the American public cares about is costs.”
He added, “And that’s why even though the bill that they made is 90 percent health insurance coverage and 10 percent about cost control, all you ever hear people talk about is cost control. How it’s going to lower the cost of health care, that’s all they talk about. Why? Because that’s what people want to hear about because a majority of American care about health care costs.”
Gruber said the Obama administration took the “spaghetti approach,” throwing a bunch of stuff to the wall to see what sticks.
“The only way we’re going to stop our country from being a latter day Roman Empire and falling under its own weight is getting control of the growth rate of health-care costs. The problem is, we don’t know how. [Experts] know what the problem is,” he said. “Our providers are paid enormously high. In the 1950s, surgeons are middle-class guys like professors. … Now they live on the Hamptons, the Cape; they’re like investment bankers.”
Gruber said real efforts to cut costs were not politically beneficial.
“The problem is if we just say, ‘Look, let’s just cut our spending,’ well, the problem is you’re going to then eat into what the rich guys are getting that they’re liking. And that doesn’t go so well. That’s going to be pretty hard politically. That’s why no one has a politically feasible way right now to bend the cost curve, it just doesn’t exist.”
Gruber added that if lawmakers suggested slashing costs, they “wouldn’t win many elections.”
Also on Thursday, Gateway Pundit published a 2012 “Frontline” interview in which Gruber reveals that he personally worked with Obama on another Obamacare deception – this time concerning the so-called “Cadillac tax” – in a 2009 White House meeting.
Gateway Pundit confirmed Gruber did, in fact, meet with the president in the Oval Office for almost four hours on July 20,2009, “to find ways to game the CBO numbers so that the bill would pass.”
Gruber’s abortion boast
WND reported Friday that Gruber published a paper during the Clinton administration observing that legalizing abortion saved the government $14 billion in assistance to economically disadvantaged mothers, including African-Americans, and lowered crime.
Gruber argued in his paper that without the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, “marginal children” would have been born to many poor mothers. He said statistics show these children would have been 70 percent more likely to live in a single-parent family, 40 percent more likely to live in poverty, 50 percent more likely to receive welfare and 35 percent more likely to die as an infant.
Economist Steven D. Levitt and journalist Stephen J. Dubner in their bestselling 2005 book “Freakonomics,” relied on Gruber’s work to argue that legalizing abortion was responsible for an approximately 50 percent reduction of crime in major urban centers in the early 1990s.