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Tag Archives: Jonathan Gruber

Uriah Heep Comes Before Congress

“When I was quite a young boy . . . I got to know what umbleness did, and I took to it. I ate umble pie with an appetite. I stopped at the umble point of my learning, and says I, ‘Hard hard!’ When you offered to teach me Latin, I knew better.”

Jonathan Gruber probably walked away from the Tuesday’s House Oversight Committee hearing with some smug satisfaction that he had endured a dragging over the coals without really being responsive to the committee, while projecting himself as completely contrite. But Americans, who contrary to Gruber’s assumption are far from stupid, surely saw through his humility act.

Republicans achieved their mission, showcasing Gruber – or more accurately, allowing him to showcase himself – as the slippery shyster behind the Obamacare fraud that was perpetuated on the American people.

Responsive he wasn’t. He wouldn’t divulge what taxpayers paid him and refused to provide documents related to his pay or his work on Obamacare, though he is going to be subpoenaed for all of this. And he refused to even get into whether the administration, as he claimed in videos, intentionally deceived Americans by presenting the Obamacare mandate as a penalty and not a tax and obscuring that Obamacare was a wealth transfer from the healthy to the sick.

But his artful dodges revealed his artifice.

The most telling moment came during questioning by Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., who repeatedly tried to get Gruber to fess up to the deceit behind Obamacare. Gruber dodged the question by using his preconceived strategy of apologizing until a threatening question went away, saying he was “glib,” “hurtful,” “trying to make myself seem smarter,” used “inexcusable language,” had “inexcusable arrogance,” and was “trying to conjecture on political topic on which I’m not an expert.”

But note in the video below how his determined repetitions begin to make his apologies sound utterly inauthentic.

There he is, Uriah Heep himself, slathering on the humility. Dickens knew of the Grubers of the world 160 years ago.

Yes, Jonathan should never have been trying to speaking Latin, or the language of politicians!

And then there was the obvious lie, coaxed forward by Chairman Issa, that Gruber didn’t mean what he said when he clearly and emphatically stated in 2012 that citizens of states that don’t set up exchanges would not receive their Obamacare subsidies.

“The point I believe I was making was about the possibility that the federal government, for whatever reason, might not create a federal exchange,” Uriah peeped.

Well, let’s go to the videotape. Gruber was unequivocal in 2012 that states without exchanges wouldn’t have access to subsidies, and he was clear that he expected the federal exchange to be set up, even if the feds might be slow-walking it a bit.

This is critical, because the biggest threat to Gruber’s Obamacare scheme is now a case headed to the Supreme Court that could, as the law states it must, deny subsidies to those living in the 36 states that did not set up exchanges. That would be it for Obamacare.

As a bonus insult, still assuming the American people to be stupid, Gruber tried to reinterpret Obama’s repeated false statements that people could keep their plans and their doctors.

“I interpreted the president’s statements to mean that the vast majority of Americans would not be affected by the Affordable Care Act,” Gruber said. Except, Obama didn’t say “the vast majority.” And the minority left after you take out the “vast majority” in our vast country could include millions of people, so Obama would still be trying to suggest something was inconsequential that actually was not.

There was a moment, though, that we saw a small crack in the facade, got a view of the arrogance burning beneath the veil of fake humility. It was when Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, requested documents from Gruber related to his work on Obamacare.

“Do I have documents? I have all sorts of documents,” Gruber responded. “I have a piece of paper in front of me.”

He just couldn’t resist Heeping some condescension onto his unworthy inferiors.

The Latest Gruber Video Could be the Most Damaging of All

I know, another Jonathan Gruber video. That’s so yesterday, like Ebola, you’re thinking. But this one may be  worse than the derisive pomposity and shameless admissions of deception that marked Gruber’s previous performances.

Because in the new video, Gruber provides stunning evidence favoring the side that is seeking to destroy Obamacare in a case headed to the Supreme Court.

Here’s what he said in January 2012:

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. So you’re essentially saying to your citizens, “you’re going to pay all the taxes to help all the other states in the country.”

Here’s why this is so important.

The Supreme Court agreed last month to hear arguments in a case that claims subsidies for people under Obamacare are only for people who, as spelled out in the law, use an exchange established by a state. The infamous federal exchange was really a backup mechanism that the law’s writers didn’t expect to be used because, you know, what state would refuse federal subsidies and fail to set up an exchange?

Thirty six, as it turned out. So as you can see, if people in these states can’t get subsidies because of a ruling by the Supreme Court, a central component of Obamacare falls apart, and possibly the law itself.

Nobody contests the language of the law. Liberals claim, though, that the “intent” of the Affordable Care Act was to cover everybody, so the law’s clear text is moot. But what Gruber, the central architect of the law – despite efforts by the administration and top Democrats to pretend he was merely making runs for  pizza and coffee – seems to be confirming is that, yes, this is what the law says, and this is the effect: You don’t set up a state exchange, your citizens don’t get subsidies.

The Court is expected to rule in the spring. It apparently is too late to include the video as evidence in the case. But the Justices, who are known to read newspapers and watch TV, may well be aware of this video, and influenced by its contest.

Here are Gruber’s remarks, followed by some good commentary by a panel on Fox.

Gruber: States Refusing to Expand Medicaid “Awesome” in their “Evilness”

A new video featuring Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber, uncovered by White House Dossier today, shows Gruber concurring that some states refusing to expand Medicaid as part of Obamacare do so out of racist motives and asserting that the refusal is “almost awesome in its evilness” and an effort to “punish poor people.”

About half the states have refused to accept federal dollars to expand their Medicaid programs as part of the new insurance coverage provided under the Affordable Care Act. States say they have done so not to hurt poor people – or minorities, for that matter – but because they view Medicaid as a failed program and fear that the increasing costs of the expansion to be born by the states are unaffordable.

Many probably also think Obamacare harms their populations and don’t want to take actions that would support it.

Gruber, in an April 2014 conversation with Harold Pollack of the University of Chicago for the website healthinsurance.org, concurs with Pollack’s contention that some states are denying Medicaid expansion out of racist motives and describes this as an evil effort to punish the poor.

From the conversation:

POLLACK: One of the things that’s really striking to me is, there’s is a politics of impunity towards poor people, particularly non-white poor people that – it’s almost a feature rather than a bug in the internal politics in some of these states, not to cover people under Medicaid even if it’s financially very advantageous to do so.

I think there’s a really important principle to defeat this politically, not just because Medicaid is important for people, but because it’s such a toxic political perspective. It has to be shown that that approach to politics doesn’t work, because otherwise we will really be stuck with some very unjust policies that will be pursued with complete impunity in some of these places.

GRUBER: You know, that’s a great way to put it: There’s larger principles at stake here, when these states are not just turning down covering the poor people, but turning down the federal stimulus that would come with that.

They’re not just not interested in covering poor people, they’re willing to sacrifice billions of dollars in injections into their economy in order to punish poor people. I mean, it really is just almost awesome in its evilness. And I agree, you have to recognize there’s larger principles at stake here.

Will Gruber Ruin the Romney Revival?

MIT Professor Jonathan Gruber, the architect of Obamacare whose comments disparaging Americans as stupid have gone viral, may not just be helping topple his own creation. He might also short-circuit the political revival of the man he worked with on a similar scheme, Mitt Romney, who was assisted by Gruber in creating Romneycare.

The avalanche of Gruber videos may remind people of Romney’s biggest weakness – that he did Obamacare before Obama did it.

Speaking in November 2011, as the GOP primaries were about to begin, Gruber charged that Romney’s efforts to distinguish Romneycare from Obamacare were fakery:

The problem is there is no way to say that. Because they’re the same fucking bill. He just can’t have his cake and eat it too. Basically, you know, it’s the same bill. He can try to draw distinctions and stuff, but he’s just lying. The only big difference is he didn’t have to pay for his. Because the federal government paid for it. Where at the federal level, we have to pay for it, so we have to raise taxes.

Influential conservative radio host Mark Levin made the connection between Gruber and Romney just the other evening:

I wanna remind all of you Romney synchofants who want Romney to run again, including Romney, this man was also the architect of Romneycare . . . Romney used this professor before Obmama did. Sorry – sorry to burst some people’s bubbles.”

In the video below, Gruber offers up some more damaging information for Romney. Ever the cynic, Gruber proudly asserts that the Massachusetts plan was a “rip off” of the federal government, which he suggests was conned into paying for it. Romney, he indicates, was complicit in the scheme:

The dirty secret in Massachusetts is the feds paid for our bill, OK? In Massachusetts, we had a very powerful Senator you may know named Ted Kennedy. Ted Kennedy had basically figured out – Ted Kennedy and smart people in Massachusetts – had basically figured out a way to rip off the Feds for $400 million a year.

The Bush administration said, ‘Wait a second, why are we doing this favor to a Democrat? We’re going to take it away.’ The Romney administration, to their credit, went to the Bush administration and said, ‘Wait a second, if we can keep this money and use it to cover the uninsured, will you let us keep it?’ The Bush administration, to their credit, said, ‘sure.’ And that became the financial basis for our transformation in Massachusetts.

The comment begins at about the 12 minute mark.

New Gruber Video Suggests Obama was in on Tax Deception

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.