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Jonathan Gruber Admits the Plan to Sell Obamacare Was a Long Con

Jonathan Gruber was a chief paid advisor on the Affordable Care Act, a fact he often neglected to mention when he was pretending to be an outside expert during media interviews. He would make hyperbolic statements praising how incredible the law would be that the White House would then use in a well orchestrated plan to sell it to the public. Recently, Gruber admitted during a panel discussion that the law was designed as effectively a con on the American public. The admission was highlighted by the Washington Post.

Gruber said (20:43), “This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure the CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes the bill dies. So it was written to do that. In terms of risk rated subsidies. If you had a law that made it explicit that healthy people pay in and sick people get money it would not have passed. Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. Call it the ‘stupidity of the American voter’ or what ever.”

It amazes me that Democrats are shocked the law remains unpopular. The law was built on a foundation of breaking Obama’s two most said and most popular campaign promises about health care reform: to not tax employer provided insurance and to not have an individual mandate.

Democrats decided to include these provisions anyway, but instead of honestly admitting Obama had a change of heart, they constructed these policies in some stupidly contrived way in a pathetic attempt to actively trick the public. Then Democrats engaged in an elaborate shell game about needing 60 votes to try to take the blame off Obama.

Gruber is right that if Democrats had been honest about their plans to break their promises, the bill would have been unpopular, but all the deception made the law very unpopular anyway. So unpopular that it had now done significant damage to the Democratic party during two mid-term elections.

This is the ultimate example of how the Obama team thinks their problems are purely about a failure to win the messaging and not the result of bad policy choices.

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Jonathan Gruber Admits the Plan to Sell Obamacare Was a Long Con

Jonathan Gruber was a chief paid advisor on the Affordable Care Act, a fact he often neglected to mention when he was pretending to be an outside expert during media interviews. He would make hyperbolic statements praising how incredible the law would be that the White House would then use in a well orchestrated plan to sell it to the public. Recently, Gruber admitted during a panel discussion that the law was designed as effectively a con on the American public. The admission was highlighted by the Washington Post.

Gruber said (20:43), “This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure the CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes the bill dies. So it was written to do that. In terms of risk rated subsidies. If you had a law that made it explicit that healthy people pay in and sick people get money it would not have passed. Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. Call it the ‘stupidity of the American voter’ or what ever.”

It amazes me that Democrats are shocked the law remains unpopular. The law was built on a foundation of breaking Obama’s two most repeated and most popular campaign promises about health care reform: to not tax employer provided insurance and to not have an individual mandate.

Democrats decided to include these provisions anyway, but instead of honestly admitting Obama had a change of heart, they constructed these policies in some stupidly contrived way in a pathetic attempt to actively trick the public. Then Democrats engaged in an elaborate shell game about needing 60 votes to try to take the blame off Obama.

Gruber is right that if Democrats had been honest about their plans to break their promises, the bill would have been unpopular, but all the deception made the law very unpopular anyway. So unpopular that it had now done significant damage to the Democratic party during two mid-term elections.

This is the ultimate example of how the Obama team thinks their problems are purely about a failure to win the messaging and not the result of bad policy choices.

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at http://pendinghorizon.com