Video of MIT Professor Jonathan Gruber getting candid about Obamacare has been making the rounds today as it shows the law’s co-architect suggesting it only passed because of a lack of transparency and, perhaps, the “stupidity of the American voter.”
Gruber famously helped design former Gov. Mitt Romney‘s Massachusetts health care law and went on to become a key figure in constructing President Barack Obama‘s similar law, colloquially known as Obamacare. According to the New York Times, Gruber was paid $400,000 for his consulting work and directly aided congressional staffers in drafting the legislation.
Speaking before a University of Pennsylvania crowd at last year’s Annual Health Economists’ Conference, Gruber said the following about the health care law’s passage:
This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If [Congressional Budget Office] scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. Okay, so it’s written to do that. In terms of risk-rated subsidies, if you had a law which said that healthy people are going to pay in -– you made explicit that healthy people pay in and sick people get money — it would not have passed… Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter, or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical for the thing to pass. And it’s the second-best argument. Look, I wish Mark was right that we could make it all transparent, but I’d rather have this law than not.
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