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Grubbing the American Public on Obamacare

A liberal elitist reveals the deception behind Obama’s health plan

by Jack Kelly    •    Pittsburgh Post Gazette ObamaCare Gruber Lies

Only 36 percent of Americans expressed approval of Democrats in a Gallup poll Nov. 12, the lowest in the 22 years Gallup has been asking that question. Republicans were approved of by 42 percent. In Gallup’s poll 13 months ago, 43 percent had approved of Democrats, just 28 percent of the GOP.

To understand how Democrats could fall so far so fast, consider MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, to whom the Obama administration paid $400,000 to help design Obamacare.

Prof. Gruber thinks he’s very smart, and you aren’t.

“[Obamacare] was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies,” he said during a health care conference at the University of Pennsylvania in October of last year.

“Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage,” Mr. Gruber said. “Call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really really critical for the thing to pass.”

Since it was comprised of fellow liberal elitists, Mr. Gruber assumed, correctly, that his audience would chuckle appreciatively at his smackdown of the Great Unwashed. But if he were as smart as he thinks he is, he’d have remembered that most cell phones are also recording devices.

He “spoke inappropriately” and regrets having made those comments, Mr. Gruber said after video of him making them was posted on the Internet.

Obamacare “is a very clever basic exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter,” he said at the University of Rhode Island in November 2012.

The Obamacare tax on high end health plans passed because “the American people are too stupid to understand the difference,” Mr. Gruber said at Washington University in St. Louis in October, 2013.

If the Supreme Court administers the coup de grace to Obamacare by ruling the language in the statute that says subsidies may be paid only to those who buy insurance on “exchanges established by the State” means subsidies may be paid only to those who buy insurance on state exchanges, Mr. Gruber’s loose lips will be chiefly responsible.

That provision was put in the law because Obamacare’s authors wanted to bully states to set up exchanges, Mr. Gruber said in a speech in San Francisco in January 2012.

“What’s important to remember politically about this is if you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits — but your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill,” he said. “I hope that that’s a blatant enough political reality that states will get their act together.”

That statement undermines the administration argument that Congress intended eligible purchasers on the federal exchange to get subsidies too.

It was a “speak-o,” Mr. Gruber said after video of those remarks surfaced. Which was a stupid lie, because shortly after he made it, videos emerged of him saying the same thing on two other occasions.

Mr. Gruber’s contempt is misplaced. Americans were suspicious of Obamacare from the get go. That’s why Democrats had to use a parliamentary maneuver in the middle of the night to pass it.

I used to think most Democrats in Congress who voted for it really believed they were doing something good for the poor and the middle class. Now I wonder. It’s crystal clear that just about everything President Barack Obama promised about his health plan was false, his deception deliberate. If Democrats really cared for the people harmed by the law, you’d think they’d admit their mistake, try to fix it. They haven’t.

Perhaps they put party loyalty ahead of the welfare of their constituents, are afraid of crossing the president or are as stupid as Mr. Gruber thinks the American people are.

I suspect it’s because Truman Democrats have been replaced by Gruber Democrats — self-styled elitists who feed lavishly at the public trough and think government should serve them, not the hoi polloi they disdain and deceive.