Obamacare “architect” Jonathan Gruber has ignited a controversy with comments suggesting that America was fooled by the healthcare law.
The Obama White House has responded that the MIT professor’s remarks about Obamacare, aka the Affordable Care Act, are “simply not true.”
The administration paid Gruber about $400,000 to help write the legislation.
On at least two occasions caught on video, Gruber touted the lack of transparency, along with the stupidity of the American public, that allowed Obamacare to be enacted without anyone (perhaps including the Members of Congress who voted for it) realizing that it was, as he seems to be claiming on camera, actually a tax-raising, income-transfer scheme.
In a third video, Gruber appears to be similarly bragging about how Obamacare cleverly exploited “the lack of economic understanding of the American voter.”
Separately, back in August, former Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank contended that President Obama lied about Obamacare. In an interview, the liberal Democrat — who voted for Obamacare when he was in office — specifically referenced the “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan” promise that even the left-leaning Politifact deemed the lie of the year. The ex-lawmaker also registered disapproval over the botched Obamcare HealthCare.gov website implementation.
In a 2013 Google Plus hangout, President Obama deemed his administration the most transparent in history. As you may recall, in 2008 then-candidate Obama suggested that healthcare reform negotiations could be televised on C-SPAN.
After a lot of behind-the-scenes arm twisting (which included such incentives as the “cornhusker kickback” and the “Louisiana purchase”), however, Obamacare passed the U.S. Senate on Christmas Eve 2009, and the U.S. House on March 21, 2010, on a straight party line vote when both chambers were controlled by Democrats. It officially became the law of the land a few days later through a fast-tracked, parliamentary maneuver called reconciliation. Under Article 1, Section 7, of the U.S. Constitution, all bills for raising government revenue must originate in the House rather than the Senate.
After the first Gruber video surfaced, and the subsequent firestorm, Gruber went on MSNBC and said “The comments in the video were made at an academic conference. I was speaking off the cuff, and I basically spoke inappropriately, and I regret having made those comments.”
Responding to the Gruber video controversy, White House spokesperson Jennifer Santillo insisted that “Transparency is a key goal of the ACA: consumers now have more access to information about their health insurance than ever before. The Affordable Care Act was publicly debated over the course of 14 months, with dozens of Congressional hearings, and countless town halls, speeches, and debates,” Talking Points Memo reported.
“The tax credits in the law that help millions of middle class Americans afford coverage were no secret, and in fact were central to the legislation, Not only do we disagree with those comments, they’re simply not true,” she noted.
Public dissatisfaction with Obamacare partially explained the Republican landslide last Tuesday that conveyed control of the Senate to the GOP and increased its hold on the House.
As a result of his Obamacare revelations, Jonathan Gruber might find himself hauled before a congressional committee to further explain what he really meant, the Washington Post reported.
Added the Post, “The Republican Party’s ardent campaign against President Obama’s healthcare law gained new momentum Wednesday as lawmakers reacted angrily to assertions by an architect of the policy that it was crafted in a deliberately deceptive way in order to pass Congress.”
Open enrollment for Obamacare begins again on November 15, with premium increases reportedly varying across the country from the single to double digits.
Footage of the controversial Jonathan Gruber Obamacare remarks was unearthed by previously obscure investment advisor Rich Weinstein, one of millions of Americans who lost his existing healthcare coverage which was replaced by Obamacare insurance that “cost twice as much,” Bloomberg Politics detailed.