It is amazing that a brilliant, renowned, MIT economist like Jonathan Gruber created complex, state of the art economic models about the effects of Obamacare and made millions of dollars as an expert hired by the federal government and numerous states to implement programs in support of the law, but he can’t remember any of the projections he made or how much money he made in the process.
He also has not gone back to see if his vaunted projections were borne out and supposedly built no contingencies into his model to account for under-enrollment or for states refusing to create exchanges. As aptly pointed out by a number of Republican members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the Ph.D. number cruncher could not remember the numbers he crunched or the ones he collected, but he sure had the words “glib” and “lawyer” down pat.
Gruber’s comments during videos made in 2012, while speaking in liberal academic circles, felt uninhibited, and he never appeared to be pressured. He was frank, and almost downright giddy when he said the Obama administration had relied on the stupidity of the American voter and even more so as he deftly explained how Obamacare tax credits were supposed to work in states that did not develop their own exchanges.
He now says his expert status and resume as an Obamacare architect are inflated, his attitude was careless and that he overstepped his bounds. It would seem the price of his hubris is that his story now rings far less true than his original statements.
Mr. Gruber, let me say to you sternly: many Americans weren’t stupid. According to polls, 50 percent of us recognized the exact flaws pointed out in your 2012 videos. They are actually the conservative arguments prior to the vote that went largely ignored thanks to a Democratic Congressional majority and a compliant media. Many of us knew that the statements being made by President Obama, his team, and his supporters about savings, keeping your doctor, and the cost of the plans was just not possible. Only 39 percent of Americans supported for the law when it was passed. It would seem most of those who voted in favor of the law didn’t care what the American people thought, perhaps because they would never be subjected to it.
Fast forward to 2014. Democrats up for re-election put as much distance between themselves and Obamacare as possible. Gruber’s explosive videos surfaced, and an increasing number of American begin to understand more fully the raw deal they have been handed.
So what does the self-proclaimed most transparent administration in history do? Lie. Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had never heard of Gruber until that darn video surfaced, and Obama downplayed his role despite evidence to the contrary. To claim Gruber would be to admit they passed the bill because they know what’s best for you. But I guess they don’t have to tell us that’s what they think, because Gruber already did.
Most disappointing in this series of sound bytes, posturing and the hearings today is the response of the administration and its hired gun requires a continued belief in the stupidity of the American people. Both government witnesses—Gruber and CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner—-were woefully unprepared and failed to be forthcoming. This is the true insult to the American people. We heard Gruber and demanded answers. What we got were platitudes and deflection.
Chairman Darrell Issa deftly asked Gruber if he was stupid during the opening of Monday’s hearings. Gruber answered in the negative but I beg to differ. Clearly he and the administration believe a hollow apology and refusal and failure to answer basic questions will somehow satisfy us.
I am not satisfied and I am not going to be silenced. I am also not stupid and know as well as I know my own name that Gruber’s comments in 2012 were informed and accurate. We know because Obamacare is often more expensive and you can’t keep your doctor or your plan. It is another progressive scheme to redistribute money, this time from those that are healthy to those that are sick.
Add to that a Health and Human Services Department run amok that wrote regulations so more people would get subsidies than the text of the law allows. Democrats own this debacle and to beg for a technical amendment now to fix a law that delivered on none of it promises makes them look like the stupid ones.
Lucky for them they have found the guy they can drive the bus over. I am almost sure Gruber can now feel those tire marks.
Wayne Dupree is the CEO and Founder of the WAAR Media Group.