Obamacare

Obamacare Advisor Caught In His Own Video of Lies

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: joels_photos1 / Foter / Creative Commons

When a three-judge DC Circuit Court panel agreed with the plaintiffs in Halbig v Sebelius, the most potent legal challenge to Obamacare, the law's supporters went ballistic. The lawsuit challenged the legality of the subsidies that the administration was handing out through federal exchanges in 34 states. It argued that these subsidies were illegal because Obamacare had explicitly limited them to state-run exchanges.

The New Republic's Brian Beutler wrote that the judges had validated a claim that even the "people advancing it realize is false." University of Chicago health care expert Harold Pollack denounced the ruling as "judicial activism" that ignored the plain intent of Congress.

Above all, there was MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, one of the key architect's of the law whom the administration paid $400,000 in consultation fees. He had previously claimed the plaintiff's theory was based on a "screwy interpretation of the law."

And when the ruling came, he went on MSNBC's Chris Matthews to flesh that out. Barring the feds from handing subsidies, he explained, would mean that "99 percent of the people would no longer be able to afford insurance," something that would gut Obamacare's individual mandate. "Why would Congress set up the mandate and go through all that political battle to allow it to be destroyed?" he asked. "It`s just simply a typo, and it`s really criminal that this has even made it as far as it has."

But Gruber was singing a very different tune in a 2012 speech before Halbig was filed.

In a video that surfaced last Thursday night, Gruber noted:

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… I hope that that's a blatant enough political reality that states will get their act together and realize there are billions of dollars at stake here in setting up these exchanges.

In other words, Congress did mean to use the subsidies to overcome the resistance of states and pressure them to set up their own exchanges. That is precisely what the plaintiffs in Halbig asserted. Of course, Obamacare's supporters didn't anticipate that the backlash against the law would be so intense that 34 states would actually decline the subsidies, almost as an act of civil disobedience.

On Friday morning, an embarrassed Gruber insisted to The New Republic's Jonathan Cohn, "I honestly don't remember why I said that… I was speaking off-the-cuff. It was just a mistake."

But a second speech, this time in the form of audio, then surfaced in which he makes the same claims before the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco at around the same time. In it, Gruber actively acknowledges that should states revolt en masse, they'd bring down the law. But, he said, that he had enough faith in democracy to believe that even the states that didn't like Obamacare would eventually succumb to the "ultimate threat" that "if your governor doesn't set up an exchange, you are losing hundreds of millions of dollars in tax credits to be delivered to your citizens."

Gruber would like everyone to ignore, not just the plain text of a law that he had a major hand in crafting, but also the plain meaning of his own words explaining why the law was written the way it was—not once, but at least twice.

Talk about being "screwy" and "really criminal!"

This piece originally appeared in the USA Today

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41 responses to “Obamacare Advisor Caught In His Own Video of Lies

  1. Liberal duplicity. Stop being redundant and saying the same thing twice.

    1. I see what you did there…

  2. The New Republic‘s Brian Beutler wrote that the judges had validated a claim that even the “people advancing it realize is false.”

    Is he talking about the subsidies and state-run exchanges or about Obamacare being a tax?

    1. What “people advancing it” realized it was “false”? Any actual names?

      1. Gruber for one. The State’s lawyers arguing the case for another. Look up the case.

        Obumbles for another, and his spokesliar Earnest. Pick any defender of Obumblecare.

  3. IT WAS JUST A SPEAK-O!!!! OR TWO. WHATEVER!

    1. I so wish I could use this excuse in my private life. Then again, it would just mean I drop the F-bomb more often on my loved ones.

      “Never mind, speak-o! I didn’t mean to call you a fucking shiftless, despicable cunt!’

      Disclaimer: I love my family. I would never do such a thing.

  4. I find it telling that democraticunderground has absolutely no search results for Gruber in the last month.

    It’s almost like they don’t want to talk about it.

  5. The most disappointing part of this is that Gruber will continue to pull in tons of cash in the future as a consultant.

    In a just world, he would be frantically working on spreadsheets to see if that $400K and his other assets will be enough to get him through retirement.

    He deserves the same fate as the Duke brothers in Trading Places.

    1. He has wisely chosen a career field that places a negative value on integrity.

  6. So liberals are lying sacks of shit.

    That’s a revelation every bit as amazing as discovering that the sun rises in the east every morning.

  7. Doesn’t matter. Commerce Clause.

    1. Good Intentions Clause.

      1. Promote General Welfare Clause

        1. No no. It’s the General Commerce clause with the Interstate Welfare clause. When read together obamacare is totally legit.

  8. Interestingly via Ace of Spades

    1) The first Senate version of the health law to be passed in 2009 — by the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee — explicitly stated that subsides would go to people on the federally-established exchange. A committee memo describing the bill circulated at the time spelled this out with total clarity.
    I could stop right here. In fact, I will. And so would the courts, if we were dealing with a less politicized piece of legislation.

    Sargent just helpfully informed us that an earlier version of the ACA — not a draft, mind you, but one that was actually passed out of committee — included explicit language granting subsidies to people on federal exchanges, language that was later dropped from the final bill.

    If Sargent had been an attorney rather than a layman, this is the point where he would have hit “delete” on his draft post and forgotten all about it.

    One of most fundamental rules of statutory interpretation used by courts when they are asked to discern legislative intent from ambiguous statutory language is this: if explicit language was in an earlier version of a bill but dropped from the final version, the court will treat that as proof it was removed on purpose

    1. If correct, that is some mighty fine unintended consequences of writing that article.

    2. If Sargent had been an attorney rather than a layman, this is the point where he would have hit “delete” on his draft post and forgotten all about it.

      And I’m sure he would have done exactly this if he’d know better. The law be damned. If you need to use force or deceit to get what you want, then so be it and civil society takes another hit.

  9. as Reason Foundation Senior Analyst Shikha Dalmia explains

    I am shaking the dust off of me after sleeping behind a dumpster last night. Could that sentence be contracted to ‘Shikha Dalmia explains’ or should head back to liquor store.

    1. I’d head to the liquor store, regardless.

      1. It’s a proven winner.

      2. I got booze, but I’m not sharing.

  10. “Every time Gruber tried to explain his flip-flop, he came across as even more of a liar and an idiot,…”

    “the judges had validated a claim that even the “people advancing it realize is false.”

    “University of Chicago health care expert Harold Pollack denounced the ruling as “judicial activism” that ignored the plain intent of Congress.”

    As opposed to the plain language.

    “Gruber would like everyone to ignore, not just the plain text of a law that he had a major hand in crafting, but also the plain meaning of his own words explaining why the law was written the way it was?not once, but at least twice.”

    1. What has become abundantly clear, not just from the drivel that the pols spew, but from what our own lefty trolls here excrete on a regular basis, is that the left does not recognize objective truth. For them whatever serves their narrative at any given moment is ‘true’. Their arguments are based on emotion and wishful thinking. Facts and objective truth have no place there.

      This effects everything they do and say. This is why they have disdain from rule of law, why they tell calculated lies with impunity. It is why they think they wake up everyday in a new world where no one remembers the lies they told yesterday, why they think credibility is attached to identity and their narrative, not to a person’s reputation for truthfulness. This is why their ‘experts’ are experts at mouthing the right words and are lauded in spite of having abysmal records of accuracy. This is why their arguments fly in the face of demonstrable truths and good horse sense.

      I will never forgive the half-wits who elected this freakshow to power, for what they are doing to my country.

      1. Why should they care? Who is going to call them on their lies?

  11. The State of Vermont just hired Gruber for $400K to advise them on their proposed Single Payer plan:

    http://digital.vpr.net/post/ob…..ngle-payer

    The State in which I live is so fucked.

    1. might catch heat for this, but a state like VT doing single payer might actually work. Small population, homogenous- much like the northern euro states.

      while I am all for competition, I also am a big supporter of the “laboratories of democracy” idea. Each state might find better solutions for themselves rather than a nationalized policy.

      1. “Small population, homogenous- much like the northern euro states.”

        But unlike places like Canada or Japan, Vermont only has like 600 thou population. There’s probably not enough industry or jobs to support such radical social experiment.

        How will Vermont get money to implement single payer? I hear they actually need Fed permission to divert money away from medicaid and medicare. Can’t have single payer AND medicaid.

  12. But, he said, that he had enough faith in democracy to believe that even the states that didn’t like Obamacare would eventually succumb to the “ultimate threat” that “if your governor doesn’t set up an exchange, you are losing hundreds of millions of dollars in tax credits to be delivered to your citizens.”

    Democracy, all about getting someone else’s money?!.

    1. Tocqueville recognized it as democracy’s fatal flaw.

  13. Obamacare proponents got pantsed. They sincerely thought the political leverage against the states would cause them to comply.

    Ha.

    1. You think going for bipartisan support instead of FU party line votes had an impact on state resistance?

      1. obviously lol they were na?ve in thinking that it would just fly. Now they had their bluff called and boom! They’re shit out of luck

        1. Shit out of luck?

          I believe that the administration called this ruling “interesting for legal theorists”, I think I remember that right.

          In other words, fuck the law, fuck the court, we are doing what we want.

          Now, lets see if anyone does anything about it. I am not going to hold my breath.

          1. idk man, I really think there might be a case against the subsidies. That “interpretive” BS re: the Constitution only stands because it is over 200 years old.. the language in ACA is not different than the language in 2014. Intent is nothing, the words all mean exactly the same thing today.

      2. wait, surely you meant they went for “party-line support” and not bipartisan lol Ocare was the farthest thing from bipartisan

        1. Ok, “not going for bipartisan support”.

  14. When democrats say that they clearly intended for everyone to get a subsidy, it reminds me of when they said that if you liked your doctor, you could keep him.

    Apparently, that intention was coupled with several conditions, provisos, and a good dose of maybe, wrapped up in their intentions.

  15. If he’s a liar and an idiot then let’s not have him serve as the official spokesman for the law.

    1. Yeah, let’s just read the law and see what it says.

      Oh, wait…

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