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HomeNewsPoliticsJonathan Gruber Flat-Out Lied About ObamaCare Subsidies, ‘Period’

Jonathan Gruber Flat-Out Lied About ObamaCare Subsidies, ‘Period’

ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber MSNBC interview
ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber MSNBC interview

ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber does MSNBC interview after federal court ruling on ObamaCare subsidies.

On July 22, the powerful D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals invalidated ObamaCare subsidies for health insurance obtained through the federally run exchange, HealthCare.gov.

Immediately after the ruling, the administration once again dispatched Jonathan Gruber, an MIT economist and chief architect of ObamaCare, to make the case for why the ruling was misguided.

In a series of interviews and appearances since, Gruber has made a number of comments and accusations, including calling those who say the law should be interpreted as it was written “screwy,” “nutty,” “stupid” and “desperate.” The man who recently said that he knew “more about this law than any other economist,” insisted that those who crafted the law “had no intention of excluding the federal exchanges,” and even outrageously proclaimed that anyone who disagreed with that statement was a “criminal.”

Gruber assumed the title of “chief architect of ObamaCare” when the Obama administration deemed The Washington Post-given title appropriate in 2012, because they needed Gruber — the chief architect of RomneyCare — to refute the claims Gov. Romney made on the campaign trail. In fact, Gruber was so successful at achieving his goal, the Romney campaign decided it wasn’t a politically smart war to wage, largely leaving the issue off the table.

“Literally every single person involved in the crafting of this law has said that it`s a typo,” Gruber said in an interview with MSNBC.

The D.C. appeals court declined to view the issue as a clerical error, as the administration is attempting to portray it. The court ruled 2 – 1 that the Obama administration and the IRS overreached when they reinterpreted the language of the Affordable Care Act, better known as ObamaCare, unilaterally deciding to extend subsidies to those who buy insurance through the federally run exchanges.

But the justices on the court weren’t the only ones to view the law as explicitly barring the practice of doling out subsidies through the federal exchange, Gruber himself said so. Below is a clip from Gruber’s interview on MSNBC making the aforementioned comments, which runs into a speech Gruber made in 2012 (the full version of the 2012 speech is available below).

New audio has emerged that can be heard via YouTube in this next clip, where Gruber again repeats concerns over the law’s barring of federally distributed subsidies, which he clearly didn’t view as a clerical error, or “typo.” Remember, the agency behind the regulation that may sink ObamaCare is the same IRS that was targeting conservative groups, and they did so at the same moment Gruber was making these statements. As Chris Stirewalt put it, the IRS’s “actions provided aid and comfort to elected Democrats, even as it disenfranchised millions of Americans who voted in their states to reject state-run exchanges.”

[brid video=”9573″ player=”1929″ title=”Jonathan Gruber Once Again Says Subsidies Are Tied to StateBased Exchanges”]

So, when Gruber and the administration now pretend they were taken by surprise by this “typo,” they are lying, “period.” Gruber further made a fool of himself when he told Jonathan Cohn at The New Republic that his comment made in 2012 was “a speak-o — you know, like a typo.” For Gruber, President’s Obama’s promise that “if you like your health care plan, then you can keep your health care plan, period,” was also “a speak-o.”

The court’s ruling and the administration’s repeated attempts to undermine their own law will no doubt negatively impact millions of Americans. The justices did not make this decision lightly.

“We reach this conclusion, frankly, with reluctance. At least until states that wish to can set up Exchanges, our ruling will likely have significant consequences both for the millions of individuals receiving tax credits through federal Exchanges and for health insurance markets more broadly,” the ruling stated.

The court knows their ruling threatens to unravel the entire law, which most Americans would likely argue is the best thing that could happen to them. However, it isn’t their job to determine the impact their rulings with have on public policy, but rather their job is to ensure the political branches of government are operating within their constitutional authority. If millions of Americans who enrolled in ObamaCare end up losing their subsidies, thus are unable to afford their otherwise impossibly expensive insurance premiums, the fault will solely lay with the president and his administration.

To better understand how this could have happened, let’s first review the situation in its proper historical context.

The House, at that time, was still in Democratic control under the direction of former Speaker now-Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and they passed a version of the bill that included language once could argue did, indeed, extend ObamaCare subsidies beyond state-based exchanges. The Senate, however, was another story.

In a shocking rebuke of the law, which Americans never wanted and still do not want, Scott Brown was elected in deep Blue Massachusetts to replace the late liberal Sen. Ted Kennedy, a long-time advocate of government-run healthcare.

Democrats simply didn’t have the votes to take up another piece of legislation similar to the even more centralized House bill. They had no choice but to settle on the version that had already been passed in the Senate, which specifically barred ObamaCare subsidies for consumers in states that did not set up SBMs, or state-based marketplaces. The House went on to pass the Senate version, and here we are.[brid video=”9573″ player=”1929″ title=”Jonathan Gruber Once Again Says Subsidies Are Tied to StateBased Exchanges”]

Written by

Rich, the People's Pundit, is the Data Journalism Editor at PPD and Director of the PPD Election Projection Model. He is also the Director of Big Data Poll, and author of "Our Virtuous Republic: The Forgotten Clause in the American Social Contract."

Latest comments

  • When the Obama administration saw that the states were not going to set up exchanges (due to Republican control) they decided to offer subsidies in the Federal Exchanges too. So what is wrong with that? It is the same difference. Same doctor, same subsidy, who cares if it is a State or Federal subsidy, people just want health care. I can’t imagine the Supreme Court even cares about this at all. This seems like something Republicans just need to write about or a desperate attempt to get there way no matter what the intent of the law was. The subsidies are flowing the program working, it is way too late to change anything.

    • You are saying that we should not enforce the law as written. We should just let Obama play dictator and let the courts legislate. No big deal to you that Congress becomes irrelevant under that scenario. We could then do away with Congress and just look at the money we would save!

      The are at lease two instances where Gruber says on tape that citizens in states that do not set up their own exchange are not eligible for the Obamacare subsidies. Since the federal government legally could not force the states to set up their own exchanges, Obamacare was drafted the way it was to give the states an offer they could not refuse- set up the exchange themselves or lose the subsidies. The only mistake was that it didn’t work. To say that it was a drafting error is a lie.

      • Im not disputing that. Maybe it was a huge plot by Obama and he gave subsidies that are completely against the law, maybe the courts will find that. That is fine and dandy. However Obama had the audacity to go beyond the law and get the people health insurance from a republican controlled congress that would never have granted it. For this he is a hero! In my view. Any buerocrat could just sit there and read the law then enforce it, but Obama did what was best for the country.

        • The ends justify the means is a slippery slope. It is OK if you are the one that gets to pick the end and the means.

          • As londg as the ends are for the peoples benefits who car how slippery it is they could use wd40 for all I care.

  • The only desperate here are the democrats that wrote a lot full of flaws that we needed to pass to “see what’s in it”. Gruber is the opposite liar of Obama. Obama said you can keep your doctor, policy period, and it was false. This guy told the truth about subsidies in obamacare and now he says was a “speak-o”. Spaghettis are easier to untangle than this mess obamaca.

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