The latest video to emerge of Jonathan Gruber boasting about his exploits suggests President Obama may have been party to the effort to disguise a tax on individuals that was passed as part of the Affordable Care Act.
In the latest video, Gruber says the during a discussion in 2009 on cost savings for Obamacare, Obama said it was politically impossible to tax people’s health insurance benefits, which unlike payroll income, are not taxed. Getting around this problem was a topic Obama was “just very interested in,” Gruber said.
The discussion, Gruber said, “became the genesis of what is called the Cadillac tax,” a new Obamacare tax on the most generous health plans.
The cute part of this is that, with traditional fully insured plans, it’s the insurer who pays the new Cadillac tax, not the employer or the beneficiary. But, Gruber acknowledged in another video that this is a de facto tax, because the insurer simply raises premiums to cover the cost, which therefore trickles down – pardon the expression – to the beneficiary. This, he said, was a “very clever, basic exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter.”
Here’s the latest from Gruber, in which he indicates Obama may have been in on the scheme:
Now, the problem is, it’s a political nightmare, … and people say, “No, you can’t tax my benefits.” So what we did a lot in that room was talk about, well, how could we make this work? And Obama was like, “Well, you know” — I mean, he is really a realistic guy. He is like, “Look, I can’t just do this.” He said: “It is just not going to happen politically. The bill will not pass. How do we manage to get there through phases and other things?” And we talked about it. And he was just very interested in that topic.
Once again, that ultimately became the genesis of what is called the Cadillac tax in the health care bill, which I think is one of the most important and bravest parts of the health care law and doesn’t get nearly enough credit.
H/T to Jim Hoft at The Gateway Pundit.