Opinion: Obamacare’s architects really do think you’re stupid

Feeling, “stupid,” my fellow “American voter”? If not, perhaps you just aren’t in the proper Democratic frame of mind, because that’s how they think of us.

In this case, by “they” I mean Obamacare’s architects. It turns out, one of the main ones, Jonathan Gruber, admitted as much during a conference last year:

Here’s a transcript of the relevant portion of this clip:

“This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure (the Congressional Budget Office) did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. OK? So it’s written to do that. In terms of risk-rated subsidies, if you had a law which said healthy people are going to pay in — you made explicit that healthy people pay in and sick people get money — it would not have passed. OK? Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical to get the thing to pass. Look, I wish … we could make it all transparent, but I’d rather have this law than not.”

This clip is obviously part of a longer panel discussion at the conference, but it doesn’t leave much to the imagination or interpretation. The video confirms so much of what Obamacare’s critics have said about the law, it’s as if a conservative body snatcher infiltrated Gruber’s body and began speaking through his mouth:

1. The gimmicky, dishonest way the bill was written to avoid a straight-forward, honest scoring from the CBO.

2. The way the bill was sold in the legislative process as anything but a tax and then defended in court as a tax, a flimsy argument Chief Justice John Roberts actually bought for some unknown reason.

3. The way the bill was sold as a benefit to many, when in fact it was designed to redistribute money from many (not necessarily from “the rich” but instead the healthy) to the few.

4. The bill would not have passed if sold honestly on its actual merits.

5. The blatant way the Obama administration depended on the public to buy its false premises — what Gruber calls “the stupidity of the American voter.”

6. The come-hell-or-high-water way the “most transparent administration in history” set out to get the bill passed, no matter how much opacity, trickery, gimmickry and dishonesty that required.

Nancy Pelosi was right: They really did have to pass the bill for everyone to find out what was in it.

Gruber’s admission about the administration’s deceptive tactics is particularly interesting, as Peter Suderman writes at Reason.com, in light of the legal argument soon to hit the Supreme Court about subsidies on the federal exchanges:

In a 2012 video unearthed this summer, Gruber said explicitly that the tax credits to offset coverage costs were conditioned on state participation in the law’s exchanges — a contention that the administration denies, and is at the heart of a legal challenge on its way to the Supreme Court. 

“Gruber, who by 2014 was making vehement arguments in support of the administration’s position, said that in the video he misspoke. That excuse was hard to believe. For one thing, he elaborated on the argument at length, and for another, a second recording surfaced soon after in which he said almost the exact same thing. 

“It’s even harder to believe now that he has admitted that he thinks it’s fine to mislead people if doing so bolsters the policy goals he favors.” (link original)

Again, none of this comes as a surprise to those of us who have been pointing out such sleights-of-hand since before Obamacare became law. But by now, anyone still defending the law as pure and good and righteous probably wouldn’t change their minds if a tape surfaced of Obama himself saying, “We (bleeping) lied to you (bleeping) gullible, liberal (bleepers) and there’s not a (bleeping) thing you can (bleeping) do about it. (Bleepers.)”

Which must explain why Gruber felt comfortable enough to make such a bald-faced admission in public; he knew nothing would come of it.

Reader Comments 0

69 comments
Elvez
Elvez

Not one story on ABC, CBS, ABC or CNN.  At least not online.

LilBarryBailout
LilBarryBailout

Kyle, I've searched the ajc.com web site and the front section from the last two days of the printed version, and I find no stories on these revelations.

Why?

blah blah blah
blah blah blah

Same sort of lies and manipulation Obama will use to pass Climate Control laws.  Just listen to the climate control people...  Lies Lies Lies.

MarkVV
MarkVV

@blah blah blah 

Calling scientific facts lies only shows the ignorance of the climate change deniers.

PudHead
PudHead

@MarkVV @blah blah blah 

Is a scientific fact the giving money to democrats will help “global idiocy”….So tell me again why giving money to democrats, or raising taxes in any way helps environmental issues?

PudHead
PudHead

@MarkVV @blah blah blah 

Yep broke records for early snowfall up north, yeah glaobal warming is killing us, quick give some money to Owl Gore, that will help.. right?


MarkVV
MarkVV

@PudHead @MarkVV @blah blah blah 

You are again making abundantly clear that you have no clue about what a "scientific fact" expression means.

"So tell me again..." Where did I tell that the first time?

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

And, the libs don't have a problem with being lied to, so that 1/5 of the nation's economy can be taken over.

WHY am I not surprised.  To continue to defend the law and how it was passed truly reveals your "stupidity."

FACT

MarkVV
MarkVV

@DownInAlbany 

Anybody who presents an opinion as a fact shows exactly what stupidity is. 

gotalife
gotalife

Voting to stop your President in a time of wars proves his point Kyle.

JKLtwo
JKLtwo

Demwits love their sheeple!  Now shut up and do what the government tells you to do.

MarkVV
MarkVV

It is always amusing when someone gets all heat up, holy and self-righteous in attacking the opposing side when something that is done all the time is revealed, such as that some laws are being written with an eye on making them passable.


What is, however, most ironic is the inanity of the argument made in this case by Gruber, and then exploited by Kyle: that ACA was “designed to redistribute money from many (not necessarily from “the rich” but instead the healthy) to the few.”In spite of all the mischaracterization of ACA as “healthcare law,” it is for the most part a law regulating healthcare insurance. Have Gruber and Kyle never heard or understood what EVERY insurance does – redistribute money from many to the few, who suffer losses, or in this case, need expensive medical treatment?

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

Anyone else have at least a little problem with the credibility of Kyle's headline? Far as I can tell, it was one (1) guy making that dumb "stupidity" comment. I don't think he was really speaking on behalf of others.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

"What is HARD is coming up with something better, that covers more people, and is politically viable across the spectrum.  I'd prefer single payer and be done with it.  Get everyone covered (yes everyone) and have it paid similar to Medicare.  Of COURSE this solution raises prices on some people, ANY good solution will. But a majority of citizens will be healthier and happier for it. "


Better put than I could, so I figured I'd just paste it atop the current thread. 

TicTacs
TicTacs

It is law, and you have nothing better to offer...

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

@Jefferson1776 Now that Harry Reid is no longer in the position to obstruct every attempt by the cons...maybe the adults will get something accomplished.

JackClemens
JackClemens

Politics is full of (bleepers) (bleeping) all over all of us.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

 This isn’t just about subsidies. Obamacare is a carrot-and-stick program: Businesses and individuals are mandated to do certain things, and they receive subsidies when they comply. But if the Americans in those states that refused to set up exchanges are ineligible for subsidies — as the law clearly states — then many of them will become exempt from the insurance mandate, too: Those who are not eligible to receive subsidies are exempt from the mandate when the cost of the least expensive policy exceeds 8 percent of their income. In addition, should a state not establish an exchange, it frees businesses in that state from the fees and regulations imposed by Obamacare’s employer mandate.


http://www.nationalreview.com/article/392446/its-how-they-wrote-law-editors


Live by the lie, die by the lie.

straker
straker

The man from Porlock is embodied in the Republican Congress which has used one malicious interruption after another to harm Obama and his desire to give middle class and poor people affordable healthcare.

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

Apologies for the technical issues on the blog this morning. I hope we've gotten them straightened out now.

LogicalDude
LogicalDude

@Kyle_Wingfield I didn't even notice!  


;) 

I thought you were talking about getting the blog back to have a readable comment section.  Oops!


LogicalDude
LogicalDude

"This bill was written in a tortured way"

Thanks Heritage foundation and RomneyCare!

Cogito Ergo Erras
Cogito Ergo Erras

@LogicalDude


I see your moniker is intended to be ironic.


From the Wikipedia:


"Non sequitur (Latin for "it does not follow"), in formal logic, is an argument in which its conclusion does not follow from its premises.


The idiom "red herring" is used to refer to something that misleads or distracts from the relevant or important issue.[1] It may be either a logicalfallacy or a literary device that leads readers or characters towards a false conclusion.


But thanks for your participation!

LogicalDude
LogicalDude

Kyle: "anyone still defending the law as pure and good and righteous "


I'm defending it as "better than what we had before", not as a perfect solution. 


What is your solution to getting better affordable coverage for Americans? 


I'm asking because it's easy to bash Obamacare because it's imperfect, along with payoffs to the insurance industry.  What is HARD is coming up with something better, that covers more people, and is politically viable across the spectrum.  I'd prefer single payer and be done with it.  Get everyone covered (yes everyone) and have it paid similar to Medicare.  Of COURSE this solution raises prices on some people, ANY good solution will. But a majority of citizens will be healthier and happier for it. 

PudHead
PudHead

@LogicalDude 

Really, are you that stoned, what we had before the ACA was better than what we pay too much for now…

 

Cogito Ergo Erras
Cogito Ergo Erras

@LogicalDude


"I'm defending it as "better than what we had before", not as a perfect solution."


If one has to lie and dissemble to do something, we have to ask why that is. At this point, we really do not know if it is indeed better than what we had before, since a number of its effects have been delayed until after the midterm elections (more deception). I, as one of the People of these United States, deserve to be SERVED by those we elect and not DECEIVED.


Kyle's column is one of the best he has written and arguing that a habitual liar like Obama is a good man is indefensible.

JackClemens
JackClemens

@LogicalDude It would be cheaper for all of us to create an entitlement to cover those with pre-existing conditions. That is, until runaway obesity gives all of us pre-existing conditions.

Cogito Ergo Erras
Cogito Ergo Erras

I am wondering, in light of revelations such as these, which demonstrate yet again (what I have been arguing for a couple of years now) that Obama and his administration and many Democrats are fundamentally dishonest people, if Justice Roberts is angry that they would presume to take him for a sucker - to think he also was "stupid."


If so, the wickedness of the Democrats will perhaps finally have caught up with them. They will be left to explain to a voting electorate already fed up with or angry with them why 1) they deceived them and 2) passed a shoddily drafted bill that billions and billions have been spent to implement and which upended a system that was functioning for a lot of people, only 3) to fail in the end and leave a colossal mess in the wake.


I have said it many times: most people in Congress are lawyers and lawyers are not engineers - they really don't know how to troubleshoot and fix problems in a complex system. In engineering, one NEVER, NEVER makes large whole scale changes to a "live" system many people are dependent upon. It is the height of folly.

Tiberius Constitutionus
Tiberius Constitutionus

@Penses How is getting health  insurance from private, for-profit health insurance companies, and using that insurance in connection with obtaining medical services from private, for-profit medical service providers, "whole scale change" [sic] to the system?


In case you missed it, the system is working just fine, by the way.

WGA1990
WGA1990

The Obamanites have been desperately attempting to declare that the ACA has been successful based on the number of people previously uninsured who are now insured. Of course they omit the inconvenient truths about these folks trying to find a doctor who'll see them and the third rate care they'll receive if they do. They also omit the high out of pocket expense many will encounter. Now we're learning as summarized in Kyle's topic commentary how these far-left elitists really view the public.

DawgDadII
DawgDadII

Medicare Part D passed under Bush. If they wanted to expand health insurance subsidies for the poor and access for individuals they could have been honest and passed it. But this is NOT about health care, it's about left vs. right, power to entice more voters (health care for immigrants), and government underwriting of profits for big insurers.


The biggest lie is the title of the Act. My employer provided insurance has gone UP 15% and 18% the past two years, the deductibles have skyrocketed, and the underlying contracted costs of care are skyrocketing.


The company I work for has spent millions to implement this with more to come. It has further corrupted Government which is writing regulations and doling out thousands of waivers for who knows what favors in return. It has created an environment where many people receiving coverage and subsidies do not appear to understand and appreciate others are paying for them. And, there is more yet to be implemented. STOP IT, NOW!

straker
straker

Obama has made a valiant effort, with Obamacare, to allow the lower middle class and poor to have affordable healthcare.


However, I knew it was just a matter of time before The Healthcare Industry, in order to protect their obscene profits, would get the Republicans and our politicized Supreme Court, to scuttle it.


Only in America.

Cogito Ergo Erras
Cogito Ergo Erras

@straker


"...their obscene profits..."


*Looking around and seeming puzzled, Al Gore asks* "What...what are you saying?"

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

@straker A valiant effort?  You should hang your head in shame.  They proudly and blatantly lied to get this pos legislation passed and you want to call the effort "valiant." 

Freakin unbelievable.

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

The cover has been blown.  This administration will go down in history as one of the most corrupt in US history.  If you voted for Obama the second time, you should get down on your knees and beg forgiveness.

Trefusis
Trefusis

I think is was Sen. Howard Baker of Tennessee who so wonderfully said, during the Watergate hearings, "Please do not confuse the issue with facts".  What's so cool is that he plainly meant it self-humorously.  So I reckon that's what's going on here.  You're confusing the issue with facts, Mr. Wingfield, and that just doesn't go over well.  


Thing is, this happens a lot.  Try writing again about education and you'll see.  Lockstep or shut up. 

Starik
Starik

" 3. The way the bill was sold as a benefit to many, when in fact it was designed to redistribute money from many (not necessarily from “the rich” but instead the healthy) to the few."

It also protects - to a degree - the taxpayers from paying when the healthy become unhealthy, as from sudden illness, gunshot and accidents.  

We need a national, single payer system like Canada's. 

Stephenson_Billings
Stephenson_Billings

Gov't slashes 2015 Obamacare sign-up forecast by 30%


"So the number "13" apparently is bad luck for Obamacare, too.


Federal officials on Monday sought to lower expectations for upcoming enrollment in Obamacare, announcing that they now believe that only between 9 million and 9.9 million people will be enrolled in Affordable Care Act health insurance plans by the end of 2015.


That is well below the 13 million people that the Congressional Budget Office has projected for Obamacare enrollment by the end of 2015. Open enrollment for 2015 plans resumes Saturday."


http://www.cnbc.com/id/102169534

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@Stephenson_Billings Obamacare, announcing that they now believe that only between 9 million and 9.9 million people will be enrolled in Affordable Care Act health insurance plans by the end of 2015


I love that the arguments against Obamacare are that not enough Millions of people have signed up


My how those goalposts moved.

DebbieDoRight
DebbieDoRight

Kyle -  do you HATE this new format?  I know I do...... It sucks!!  I say we bombard the IT guys with "We HATE the new website especially the blog section" emails and letters and then we wait until midnight in India and (theoretically) storm the IT department with torches and signs that say, "Down with IT guys!!" This format bites big time!