I thought it might be useful to compile these all in one place and update as needed. (There will be more.)
THE GRUBER TAPES
“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,” said Gruber in the recently released bombshell video of a University of Pennsylvania panel he was on in October, 2013.
On Tuesday’s broadcast of “The Kelly File” on the Fox News Channel, a new clip of ObamaCare architect of Jonathan Gruber saying that “American voters are too stupid to understand the difference” of the language of the ObamaCare legislation.
“It’s a very clever, you know, basic exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter,” Gruber, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said during a speech at the University of Rhode Island in November 2012.He was discussing what is known as the Cadillac tax and how it came into being.
“Barack Obama’s not a stupid man, okay?” Gruber said in his remarks at the College of the Holy Cross on March 11, 2010. “He knew when he was running for president that quite frankly the American public doesn’t actually care that much about the uninsured….What the American public cares about is costs. And that’s why even though the bill that they made is 90% health insurance coverage and 10% about cost control, all you ever hear people talk about is cost control. How it’s going to lower the cost of health care, that’s all they talk about. Why? Because that’s what people want to hear about because a majority of American care about health care costs.”
The video has been removed from Youtube, but you can watch the entire speech on the C-SPAN website here.
Gruber said the measures in the bill that attempt to lower costs constitute a “spaghetti approach” — throwing everything against the wall to see what sticks. And while preferable to the status quo, Gruber said he could offer no guarantee that any of the measures would work.
Watchdog.org’s Bruce Parker has this clip from the ObamaCare architect’s appearance before a Vermont legislative panel in February 2011, where one of the committee members read a warning letter about the dangers of adopting a massive, top-down government program controlling health insurance markets. After hearing a list of predicted negative consequences, Gruber dismissed it as something that might have been “written by my adolescent children”
The issue at hand in this sixth video is known as the “Cadillac tax,” which was represented as a tax on employers’ expensive health insurance plans. While employers do not currently have to pay taxes on health insurance plans they provide employees, starting in 2018, companies that provide health insurance that costs more than $10,200 for an individual or $27,500 for a family will have to pay a 40 percent tax.
“Economists have called for 40 years to get rid of the regressive, inefficient and expensive tax subsidy provided for employer provider health insurance,” Gruber said at the Pioneer Institute for public policy research in Boston. The subsidy is “terrible policy,” Gruber said.
“It turns out politically it’s really hard to get rid of,” Gruber said. “And the only way we could get rid of it was first by mislabeling it, calling it a tax on insurance plans rather than a tax on people when we all know it’s a tax on people who hold those insurance plans.”
(The White House press secretary said at a press briefing in 2010: “I would disagree with your notion that it is a tax on an individual since the proposal is written as a tax on an insurance company that offers a plan.”)
UPDATE (Nov 15):
As Democrats try to distance themselves from “this guy Gruber”, a 2012 “Truth Team” video emerges which proudly touts his involvement in crafting the law.
UPDATE: (Nov 17)
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.
Rightpundit unearthed an interview from 2013, showing Gruber commenting on the disastrous rollout of Obamacare. In another insult to the intelligence of the American voter, he said going forward, the “the short attention span of the American public” works to the president’s advantage. “A year from now when the law’s working, it will be long forgotten,” Gruber said.
The attention span of the American public is perhaps a little longer than Gruber realizes. A year later, ObamaCare’s approval rating stands at it’s lowest point to date – 37% according to Gallup.
Jonathan Gruber praised Hillary Clinton’s health care plan in the run up to the 2008 election.
“I love the Hillary Clinton plan. What can I say? The Hillary Clinton plan was the Massachusetts plan,” Gruber said. “The Hillary Clinton plan was Obama’s plan plus the mandate. And I think it was a better plan.”
Gruber let’s the cat out of the bag, here: “I was surprised politically she did that. I think Obama was a lot smarter politically to not have a mandate–at least in his proposal for the election.”
When Obama was running in 2008, he was “against” the unpopular individual mandate.
Speaking at a health care town hall event held in Seattle back in January 2012, Gruber said that if Obamacare was not successful at controlling costs, “we’ll have to revisit single-payer.” Gruber emphasized the point by stating it twice in response to a question about whether Obamacare could succeed at controlling costs without a public option.
But Gruber’s 2012 statement was called into question by Gruber himself in October of this year at Harvard University. “It’s very important to recognize the fallacy of something I frequently hear which is well, if Obamacare fails next we’ll go to single-payer. That is absolutely backwards,” Gruber said. He added, “Every single health reform effort moves to the right. If you like single-payer then Obamacare has to succeed.”
The contradiction was caught by Rich Weinstein, the same person who uncovered a series of video clips which have made Gruber and his role in crafting Obamacare a major topic of conversation this month.
Watch video here.
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.
Gruber states that he’s not super panicked that a number of states have not yet set up exchanges, (because under Obamacare, subsidies are only for people who use an exchange established by a state.) Explains that there’s still a lot of time for them to do so before October of 2014.
At a congressional hearing on December 9, Jonathan Gruber claimed that he was not the “architect” of ObamaCare people were making him out to be – but a mere “advisor.
But in the latest Gruber video to be released, Gruber portrayed himself as (full disclosure!) one of the primary designers of the Affordable Care Act.
In the 2008 campaign, McCain took the gutsy step of arguing in favor of repealing the health care exemption — gusty, because while most Pointy Heads agreed this would make the best policy, most people just say “You’re gonna tax my health insurance?!”
And note McCain offered a $10,000 or so tax credit in the deal — so that most people would not experience any negative tax consequences from the change in the law.
Obama ran against this and demagogued McCain on the issue. He promised he would not tax your health insurance.
As soon as he’s elected, Obama begins scheming as to how he can tax people’s health insurance — this time, not bothering to offer the $10,000 tax credit, which would make people net-neutral on the deal. He wants to tax them more. So no tax credit.
And since he just got done demagoguing the issue, he has to do it secretly. So he gets together with Orzag and Gruber to repeal the exemption over the course of years, as the “Cadillac Plan” threshold fails to keep pace with actual inflation.
So where are we now? Well, according to Gruber, we are 20 years away fromall plans being taxed at 40% rate, which means that most employers won’t offer them, and will just dump people on to the government exchanges.
The man behind many of these videos, mild mannered investment advisor, Richard Weinstein on the Chris Stigall Show on WPHT in Philadelphia, Nov 12 claiming more video is still to come regarding Obamacare.
The Obamacare architect is the moronic gift that just keeps on giving. In this newest video to come out, Jonathan Gruber says that academics can be trusted more than anyone else because if he blatantly lied, his reputation would suffer, unlike all the other industries where people lie all the time!
Sen. Harry Reid (D., Nev.) said in 2009 Gruber’s defense of the Affordable Care Act was high praise, indeed, according to PJ Media.
“CBO’s experts aren’t the first to recognize these benefits,” Reid said. “Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Jonathan Gruber, who is one of the most respected economists in the world, said in today’s Washington Post, ‘Here’s a bill that reduces the deficit, covers 30 million people and has the promise of lowering premiums in the long run.’ Pretty good statement.”
Sen. Max Baucus (D., Mont.) also took care to name Gruber on the floor of the U.S. Senate in 2009.
“In addition to the Congressional Budget Office, I might say that MIT’s John Gruber has also done a study on our premiums and what does he conclude—he concludes, using Congressional Budget Office data, that the Senate bill could mean that people purchasing individual insurance would save every year $200 for single coverage and $500 for family coverage in 2009.”
Then-Speaker of the House and current House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) praised Gruber in 2009 as well before saying this week that she didn’t know him and that he didn’t write the bill.
“I don’t know if you have seen Jonathan Gruber of MIT’s analysis of what the comparison is to the status quo versus what will happen in our bill for those who seek insurance within the exchange,” she said in 2009. “Our bill takes down those costs, even some now, and much less preventing the upward spiral.”
The Daily Caller: Gruber in 2010: I’m an Ivory Tower Kind of Guy:
A snippet of MIT economist Jonathan Gruber speaking candidly has resurfaced, but this time it’s about himself rather than American voters.
“I’m an ivory tower guy at heart and do my thing and figure I’m an honest guy and people will trust it,” Gruber told Politico in Jan. 2010.
The self-description is likely to resonate with the public after several videotaped recordings surfaced this week of Gruber calling Americans “stupid” and bragging about how “a lack of transparency” was necessary to pass Obamacare.
Gruber called himself “an ivory tower guy” after it came to light that he had been paid $392,600 by the Obama administration to help create Obamacare. Some media outlets that used Gruber as a source – such as Politico and Ezra Klein, then of the Washington Post – were unaware of the arrangement.
The Daily Caller: Gruber: ‘Seniors do a terrible job choosing’ health care plans:
ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber said “seniors do a terrible job choosing” their own public health care plans, according to presentation slides Gruber wrote that were obtained by The Daily Caller.
With ObamaCare limiting patients’ ability to choose their own insurance plans, doctors and medications, we might now know why: the law’s designers don’t think people know how to choose.
“We have experimented with choice in public insurance: Medicare Part D,” Gruber stated on a presentation slide dated Jan. 22, 2013. “Typical senior has 50 PDPs [Prescription Drug Plans] to choose from.”
But what’s wrong with seniors being able to choose their own plan?
“Seniors do a terrible job choosing,” Gruber said.
Gruber’s slide then claimed that 12 percent of seniors allegedly picked the lowest-cost Medicare Part D plan and could on average save up to 30 percent more, without noting that some seniors pick prescription drug plans that work for them that are not necessarily the cheapest possible plan.
The Daily Caller: Gruber Video: ‘Guns Are A Public Health Issue’ [VIDEO]
Another video has resurfaced of MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, this one showing the Obamacare architect speaking candidly about guns while claiming that the National Rifle Association is holding “hostage” President Barack Obama’s nominee for Surgeon General.
“By the way you have now permanently prevented yourself from winning a high elected office in the United States despite your charisma,” Harold Pollack told Gruber at the end of a three-part interview about Obamacare recorded in April, predicting the backlash Gruber is facing by months in advance.
“You know they’ll be playing this tape back in an endless loop with a guy with a deep voice in the background,” Pollack predicted.
Gruber doubled down, segueing from speaking openly about Obamacare to another topic.
“I’ll guarantee it further by highlighting that guns are a public health issue,” Gruber said.
Powerline: A WORD WITH THE MAN WHO…
The RightScoop puts it this way: “This is a great interview [by] Pat and Stu [with] Richard Weinstein, the man who is responsible for bringing us the latest Gruber videos. He explains what sparked his interest in Gruber and how he was ignored by everyone (even by Glenn Beck and crew) when he was trying to draw attention a Gruber video earlier this year.”
American Commitment: GOVERNMENT TELLS GRUBER LIE TO THE SUPREME COURT
“I think 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 and that they’ll do it but you know once again the politics can get ugly around this.”
Very clear – and it means Gruber lied in his own amicus brief to the DC Circuit, when he wrote: “Appellants’ interpretation of the ACA cannot be squared with the basic economic framework undergirding that statute.”
So how did Gruber try to explain away his own statements? He told Congress:
“The portion of these remarks that has received so much attention lately omits a critical component of the context in which I was speaking. The point I believe I was making was about the possibility that the federal government, for whatever reason, might not create a federal exchange.”
But it’s a lie. How do we know?
When Rep. Scott DesJarlais pointed out the law requires a federal fallback exchange and asked Gruber why he was concerned there wouldn’t be one, Gruber said:
“I was concerned about the Federal exchanges because it was a very complicated task to get them set up and we weren’t sure who would be President when the time came to stand them up.”
This explanation can’t be true, because in both of the 2012 talks Gruber presented the risk of state resistance as one of the other threats to the law in addition to the risk Obama would lose reelection. And here’s the thumper, the latest find from Weinstein. Gruber was still publicly expressing his concerns about states not setting up exchanges after the election.
In March 2013, months into Obama’s second term, Gruber said this to interviewer Gillian Roberts.