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Remembering Obama’s Biggest Broken Health Care Promise

Since there has been a lot of media focus on Jonathan Gruber’s recently uncovered remarks about the American voters, I want to put it in the proper historic context. During the 2008 election a major attack line from candidate Obama was pointing out that John McCain planned to tax employer-provided health insurance. It was very effective so Obama repeatedly used it during debates, appearances, and in multiple campaign ads.

Obama spent months convincing the American public that any change to the tax exempt status of employer-provide health insurance was a Republican idea. Yet almost immediately after getting elected President Obama became determined to end the full tax-exempt status of employer-provided health insurance.

Instead of Obama being honest with the public by saying he changed his mind or was wrong during the campaign, Democrats came up with this contrived “Cadillac tax.” While technically it was an excise tax on insurers, every economists know it was designed to effectively be a tax on individual insurance.

When Gruber says ending the tax-exempt status of employer-provided health insurance wasn’t political viable so they needed to come up with a plan utilizing the “exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter,” he is referring to the fact Obama wanted to break one of his biggest campaign promises and still be able to lie about it.

While experts at the time saw through this fiction, it is refreshing to see a key architect so openly admit Democrats did it solely to con the public. Democrats embraced an idea they campaigned against, but in an attempt to trick the public they made it an even worse and needlessly more complex policy.

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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