Jonathan Gruber is an MIT economics professor who is heavily involved in crafting public health policy, being a key architect of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that’s better and more aptly referred to as Obamacare. For his “consulting” work in crafting Obamacare, Gruber was paid almost $400,000 ($392,600 to be exact), according to Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), on Fox News’s “On the Record,” Nov. 12, 2014.
But both Gruber and the Obama administration kept his work on Obamacare a secret, and instead portrayed him as an independent economist who supports Obamacare. Gruber was frequently quoted by journalists and lawmakers who did not know of his connection to the administration; nor did Gruber disclose his connection when writing opinion articles.
Last Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014, news came of Gruber being caught on video saying that, to ensure its passage, Obamacare was deliberately and intentionally written in a confusing way so as to conceal the law’s true costs from the American people who are too stupid to understand the law.
After that stunning news went public, Gruber and his fellow Demonrats compounded their contempt for Americans with lies and denials. Forbes reports that Gruber went on MSNBC, claiming that his comments were “off the cuff” and should be disregarded. The Washington Post reports that Congresswoman (and head of House Democrats) Nancy Pelosi actually claimed she did not know who Gruber is, even though she once had touted his work.
Despite their denials, we now have three videos of Gruber making those contemptuous remarks about the American people.
The first video is from a panel discussion at the University of Pennsylvania in October 2013, in which Gruber says:
This [Obamacare] bill was written in a tortured way …. You get a law which said healthy people are going to pay in, it made explicit that healthy people pay and sick people get money, it would not have passed…. Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage and basically, you know, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically, that was really, really critical to get this thing to pass.
The second video is from another October 2013 event at Washington University in St. Louis. The third video is from a lecture given by Gruber at the University of Rhode Island on November 1, 2012, just before the presidential election of that year. The second and third videos both focus on the origins of Obamacare’s so-called “Cadillac tax” on expensive employer-sponsored health insurance plans, which is a direct violation of a 2008 Obama campaign pledge.
In the two Cadillac tax videos, Gruber mocks the “lack of economic understanding” and “stupidity” of the American voter, because a more straightforward tax on employer-sponsored coverage encountered political resistance, while the Cadillac tax—imposed on employers, rather than on workers directly—made it through. This allowed Obama and his allies to falsely claim that Obamacare wouldn’t increase taxes on the middle class, despite the fact that the Cadillac tax clearly affects middle-income Americans, especially unionized industrial laborers.
It turns out that members of Congress are also too stupid to really understand Obamacare. Many of them didn’t even read the 2,700-page health care bill before voting for it. Since its passage into law, many Congress critters have expressed surprise about some of the things in Obamacare.
Gruber’s cynical view of the American people is shared by a third of Americans.
A Pew Research poll finds that 32% of Likely U.S. Voters agree that the American people are too stupid to understand the true costs associated with Obamacare. Just 52% disagree and another 16% are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Some of the poll’s other findings:
- Among voters who favor the health care law, only 18% think Americans are too stupid to understand the actual costs associated with the law. (These are precisely the stupid Americans, aka useful idiots, whom Jonathan Gruber and Obama count on to get the unaffordable care act passed.)
- Those who oppose the law, however, by a 46% to 42% margin do think the American people are that stupid.
- 62% of Democrats, 50% of Republicans, and 47% of Independents (voters not affiliated with either major party) say the American people are not too stupid to understand the actual costs associated with Obamacare.
- Men and those under 40 are more likely than women and older voters to believe Americans are that dumb.
- Nearly one-out-of-three likely voters (31%) are not sure how their congressional representative voted on the health care law, even though not one single Republican voted for it and nearly all Democrats did.
And surprise, surprise! Jonathan Gruber is right!
Most voters have said in regular surveys since the law was passed by Congress in March 2010 that it will increase the cost of health care in America and that it is likely to cost more than its supporters have projected. This helps explain why most voters continue to view the health care law unfavorably. Voters are now evenly divided over whether to repeal the health care law entirely or fix it piece-by-piece.
The American people are so stupid and uninformed that only 63% of voters were aware prior to the Nov. 4 mid-term elections that Democrats run the Senate and Republicans control the House of Representatives.
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