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July 25, 2014

Jonathan Gruber: Hey Man I Have No Idea Why I Said Federal Subsidies Weren't Available Except to State Exchanges. It Was a Mistake.
You Know, a Verbal Typo.

I don't remember, I can't recall.

[T]here's a video from 2012 in which one of the law's best known advocates and architects--MIT economist Jonathan Gruber--makes the same basic argument that the lawsuit does.

Among those who say they are surprised by the statement is Gruber himself, whom I was able to reach by phone. "I honestly don't remember why I said that," he said, attempting to reconstruct what he might have been thinking at the time. "I was speaking off-the-cuff. It was just a mistake."

Incidentally, there's an update on John Walsh's plagiarized paper. Regarding page 13 being entirely lifted from a Carnegie Institute paper, he now says "I honestly don't remember why I said that. I was speaking off the cuff. It was just a mistake."

Update: I didn't read through the piece.

When I wrote in the headline that Gruber was claiming he had made a "verbal typo," that was intended as a joke.

When JeffB. tweeted at me that Gruber was claiming he made a verbal typo, a "speak-o," I ignored JeffB., because I thought that too was a joke, and not even an original one.

Nope.

He fucking said it.

At this time, there was also substantial uncertainty about whether the federal backstop would be ready on time for 2014. I might have been thinking that if the federal backstop wasn't ready by 2014, and states hadn't set up their own exchange, there was a risk that citizens couldn't get the tax credits right away. ...

But there was never any intention to literally withhold money, to withhold tax credits, from the states that didn’t take that step. That’s clear in the intent of the law and if you talk to anybody who worked on the law. My subsequent statement was just a speak-o -- you know, like a typo.


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posted by Ace at 12:03 PM

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