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Obamacare’s Architect Admitted in 2012 That Only State Exchanges Get Subsidies

Fast-forward to 2014: He calls what he said in 2012 a "screwy interpretation."

by
Paula Bolyard

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July 25, 2014 - 1:30 am
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In a video discovered by the Competitive Enterprise Institute from January of 2012, one of the chief architects of Obamacare says the Affordable Care Act provides no tax credits for citizens in states that do not set up their own exchanges.

Speaking to an audience at Noblis, a nonprofit scientific and engineering research organization in Falls Church, Virginia, MIT economist Jonathan Gruber urged states to set up their own insurance exchanges so citizens could take advantage of the tax credits. An audience member commented, “It’s my understanding that if states don’t provide [exchanges], then the federal government will provide them for the states.” Gruber responded,

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—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. 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. But, you know, once again the politics can get ugly around this. [emphasis added]

At the time, states were being pressured to set up their own exchanges instead of leaving the federal government to manage them.

Gruber’s remarks at Noblis came five months before Halbig v. Burwell was filed. Halbig claimed exactly what Gruber is saying in the video: that Obamacare’s subsidies for private health insurance were limited to state-run health exchanges. Earlier this week, the D.C. Circuit Court agreed, striking down the Obama administration’s implementation of the federal subsidies under an Internal Revenue Service rule. The IRS had expanded the meaning of  the “established by the state” language in the Affordable Care Act to include the federal exchanges after only a handful of states set up their own state-based exchange.

Jonathan Gruber, who helped design the Massachusetts law that was the model for Obamacare and was paid almost $400,000 to consult with the Obama administration on the new law, made no attempt to conceal his feelings about the new health care law in the 2012 speech. “I’m biased, I’m in favor of this type of law, I won’t hide that,” Gruber told the Noblis audience. In the years after the passage of Obamacare, Gruber worked as a busy consultant on the issue, with several states hiring him for his expertise in the area of health insurance markets.

Gruber has since evolved on the issue of subsidies for federal exchanges.

In January 2013, he called the idea that Congress only intended the subsidies and tax credits to be available through state exchanges a “screwy interpretation” of Obamacare. In an interview with Mother Jones, Gruber huffed, “It’s nutty. It’s stupid…it’s essentially unprecedented in our democracy. This was law democratically enacted, challenged in the Supreme Court, and passed the test, and now [Republicans] are trying again. They’re desperate.”

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
Well, they lie a lot.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
They attempted to lure the states into setting up exchanges with access to federal money. When most states refused to take the bait, they tried to change the rules.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Gruber the Grifter is the perfect embodiment of our Enlightened Class. Obama uber alles. The ends justify the means, by any means necessary.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (11)
All Comments   (11)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
Well, they lie a lot.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Why would Congress set up the mandate and go through all that political battle...?"

Funny, I don't remember a political battle. I remember a unilateral imposition of a policy on the entire populace by deceit and extortion.

The fact that you're getting burned by your unintentional details in the law is a microcosm of the hubris of central planning. You're all not smart enough to manage even writing your stupid sweeping laws and regulations - let alone managing access and delivery of actual treatment. You arrogant putz.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
puts an end to the lie that they meant for all to get the benefits.

It was purely political, they wanted to saddle the states with the bills,
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
You have to read the law to know what's in the law. If something isn't in the law that the administration wants they will put it there by proxy, or the courts will say its there by means of "intent."
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is the most lawless Administration in the history of the nation. I'm pretty sure Gruber would be quite comfortable in high boots and a brown shirt.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thank you for this revelation.

Jonathan Gruber is a shameless little twit, making it up as he goes along.

He is an idiotlogue in the style that other Obamacare "architect", Rahm's brother Dr. Zeke, whose QALY (quality adjusted life years) formula determines at exactly what age your medical care and treatment should disappear or at least decline as function of your uselessness to society.

Both these guys are already useless, independent of their ages.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
We've always been at war with Eastasia.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Affordable Care Act is what it is because Democrats decided to ram the work-in-progress Senate bill through congress with only Democrat votes. It's a messy unfinished law. However, it appears to me that congress clearly intended to bribe states into taking part in the implementation of exchanges to spread the blame around. Democrats were surprised that Republican-controlled state governments chose not to accept money for Medicaid expansion and insurance subsidies.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
If “literally every single person involved in crafting this law” thinks leaving out the federal exchanges was a “typo” and any other explanation is “stupid” and “screwy,” according to Gruber, where does that leave the Gruber? How does the man we saw at Noblis, confidently assuring the audience, “If you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits” explain his previous comment?

A lying Progressive bastard who will do or say anything for the sake of power?
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
They attempted to lure the states into setting up exchanges with access to federal money. When most states refused to take the bait, they tried to change the rules.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
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