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ę Mid-Morning Open Thread | Main | Trump Unleashes Slate of Judicial Nominations; Promises New Nominees Will be Coming "Nearly Monthly" Ľ
May 08, 2017

Dishonest Obamacare Salesman Jonathan Gruber: Obamacare's Problems Are All Due to Trump

The man who has previously called the American public "stupid," and therefore in need of being deceived by their betters, claimed that Obamacare's problems are caused by Trump's reduction in government subsidies/payoffs to insurers -- even though none of those proposed reductions in payoffs has happened yet.

"Look, and whose fault is this?" Gruber replied. "Before President Trump was elected there were no counties in America that did not have an insurer," he said. Gruber continued, "We had a situation under Obamacare where there was a one-time premium increase last year that made up for the fact that insurers massively underpriced in the first two years..."

As for Gruberís claim that Trump didn't "honor the obligations this law makes to insurers" that's also [get this -- ace] not true. Gruber is talking about cost-sharing payments to insurers. It's true that some insurers have said premiums would go up substantially if these payments were cut. It's also true that Trump talked about cutting those payments last month. But so far they haven't been cut. So if insurers are losing money at this point itís not because of anything Trump did.

To be fair to Jonathan Gruber, he has already sworn under oath that he doesn't know what he's talking about and that he's "arrogant" and "glib" and maybe not as important and connected than he is.

He said that after he was caught on tape stating that it was always the intention of Obamacare to deny federal subsidies to states that did not create their own insurance exchanges -- an admission which, had John Roberts not been the Chief Justice who seemed to be nearly personally invested in saving Obamacare, would have doomed the law.

Jonathan Gruber explained this statement away by saying it was "just a mistake" like a verbal "typo."

He went on to call it a "speak-o," because he's Smart.

Explaining away the time he blamed "the stupidity of the American voter" for Obamacare's deceptions, Gruber distanced himself from the bill he was largely responsible for by declaring he was not "the architect" of Obamacare at all, despite hundreds of previous references to him as just that not having drawn any particular objection from him before.

I'm not sure why anyone would have this guy on TV -- according to his Congressional testimony, he has serious memory lapses about precisely what his role in designing Obamacare was in the first place.

MIT economist Jonathan Gruberís factually impoverished testimony on Obamacare didnít get nearly the attention it should have, as congressional Democrats cleverly decided to release a report on CIA torture abuses on the same day. Gruber's stonewalling about videos in which he boasted that the "stupidity" of the American people and their "lack of transparency" had been the key to passing Obamacare was buried deep inside major papers and ignored by the next morning's network-TV shows. John Harwood of CNBC dismissed his testimony: "I'm sorry, Gruber is a nothingburger and always has been." Mark Halperin of Bloomberg News chimed in: "This has been a sideshow. . . . It has no impact whatsoever."

Halperin will be right if journalists continue to look the other way and fail to probe more deeply into the issues Gruber has raised. The lack of curiosity many of them display about a witness who used variations of "I donít recall" 20 times during his testimony is remarkable. One journalist explained to me that many of his colleagues have bought into the liberal argument that Gruber was just a bit player in the Obamacare spectacle, even though many journalists played up his role just a few years ago. "He's not a legislator. He's not a staff guy. He's like 300 million other Americans who can have their opinion,Ē now sniffs Jay Angoff, a Department of Health and Human Services official who worked on implementing the health-care legislation.

So many of his statements he's claimed were "inexcusable mistakes," and many of the things he did he just can't remember -- he claims.

Why are we still talking to him, then? If I'm to believe his Congressional testimony, he's an "inexcusable" incompetent and a partial amnesiac.

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posted by Ace at 11:32 AM

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