One of the pivotal players in the creation of the Affordable Care Act said the law could never have happened without one crucial ingredient: “the stupidity of the American voter.”
Conservative nonprofit American Commitment unearthed a year-old video of Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber speaking at what appears to be a policy panel.
In the clip, Gruber defends the law’s essential goodness, but points out that progress requires breaking a few eggs:
This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO [the Congressional Budget Office] did not score the mandate as “taxes.” If CBO scores the mandate as “Taxes,” the bill dies. Okay? So it’s 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. OK?
… Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically… call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically, that was really, really critical to get anything to pass. And that’s the second-best argument.
… Yeah, there’s things I wish I could change, but I’d rather have this law than not.
Gruber, an economics professor at MIT, served as a White House consultant during the crafting of the Affordable Care Act. He wasn’t simply a random consultant, though. His contract with the Department of Health and Human Services described his expertise as “a sole sources basis for technical assistance in evaluating options for national healthcare reform.”
Now they have one more reason.