Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis let Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber know in a very moving way that glitches with the healthcare law have real-world, rather than theoretical or academic, consequences.
Gruber ate a large helping of humble pie today during testimony on Capitol Hill before a U.S. House committee.
The MIT professor made headlines recently bragging on camera during several academic conferences about the stupidity and economic unsophistication of the American voter, along with the lack of transparency in the complicated legalese in the bill itself, that allowed Obamacare, aka the Affordable Care Act, to pass Congress. Gruber reportedly helped write the law that, as he has implied on video, was actually a tax-raising, income-transfer scheme that he suggested hoodwinked the American people and by extension the members of Congress who voted for it.
Some have referred to these revelations collectively as Grubergate.
After a lot of behind-the-scenes arm twisting (which included such incentives as the “cornhusker kickback” and the “Louisiana purchase“),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 are supposed to originate in the House rather than the Senate, however. No Republican in Congress voted for Obamacare.
Thirty of the 60 Senate Democrats who voted for Obamacare will no longer be in office when the new Congressional term begins next month, with both chambers under GOP control.
In his opening statement at today’s hearing, Gruber apologized for his remarks that he deemed “uniformed” and “glib.” Both Republicans and Democrats blasted him during the question period that followed for his comments caught on video and for testimony that many lawmakers found evasive. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner also testified at the same hearing. The Daily Callerobserved that “Gruber repeatedly referred to his comments about Obamacare deception as being ‘glib’ or made in the interest of ‘glibness.'” It is likely that Gruber will be recalled by Congress for further testimony.
Almost choking up with heartfelt emotion, when her turn came, Rep. Lummis discussed Obamacare’s failings in a very personal way in connection with the tragic death of her husband in late October.
Lummis, a Wyoming Republican, explained she and her husband encountered all kinds of problems submitting health claims through Obamacare insurance even though the couple was supposedly enrolled. She continued that her husband experienced chest pains during the time they were told there was no record of their Obamacare enrollment despite having previously signed up.
“On October 24, the week before election, my husband went to sleep, and never woke up. He had a massive heart attack in his sleep at age 65. A perfectly, by all accounts, healthy man. Come to find out, in a conversation with his physician after he died, he chose not to have one of the tests, the last tests, his doctor told him to have. This happened to coincide with the time that we were told that we were not covered by Obamacare. I’m not telling you that my husband died because of Obamacare. He died because he had a massive heart attack in his sleep… I want to suggest that regardless of what happened to me personally, that there have been so many glitches in the passage and implementation of Obamacare that have real-life consequences on people’s lives, and the so-called glibness that has been referenced today, have direct consequences for real American people. So get over your damn glibness.”
As The Washington Postnoted about Rep. Lummis’ remarks, “Hearings like this are always political. But they don’t usually offer such deeply-felt personal stories from lawmakers.”
Watch the poignant and heartbreaking statement about Obamacare by Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis at today’s Gruber hearing.