There is no way the White House or top Democrats can explain away Jonathan Gruber’s damning claim that a “lack of transparency” was baked into the Affordable Care Act, which passed, moreover, thanks to “the stupidity of the American voter.” But it is fun watching them try.
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi came up with a novel twist on the dog-ate-my-homework excuse. Namely, she denied ever having heard of Gruber.
The scene was a press conference earlier today. Pelosi was asked to comment on the MIT economist’s joint revelations that “lack of transparency is a huge political advantage” and “the ‘stupidity of the American voter’ or whatever … was really, really critical to getting the thing to pass.”
I don’t know who he is. He didn’t help write our bill. So with all due respect to your question, you have a person who wasn’t writing our bill commenting on what was going on when we were writing the bill who has withdrawn some of the statements he made. So let’s put him aside.
It might be easier to swallow her claim that she doesn’t know who Gruber is “put him aside” if it weren’t for the fact of her having mentioned him by name multiple times on her website in December 2009:
An analysis of the House bill by noted MIT health care economist Jonathan Gruber concludes that the bill would result in lower premiums than under current law for the millions of Americans using the newly-established Health Insurance Exchange…. As Gruber states: “the premiums that individuals will face in the new exchanges established by this legislation are … considerably lower than what they would face in the non-group insurance market [under current law]
- The Gruber analysis shows that, on the Exchange, a family at 425 percent of poverty(whose income of $93,710 means that they would receive no affordability credits) would see their premiums reduced by $1,260 or 12 percent compared to current law. Similarly, the Gruber analysis shows that, on the Exchange, an individual at 425 percent of poverty (whose income of $46,030 means that they would receive no affordability credits) would see their premiums reduced by $470 or 12 percent.
There’s also this from the New York Times of March 28, 2012:
After Mr. Gruber helped the administration put together the basic principles of the proposal, the White House lent him to Capitol Hill to help Congressional staff members draft the specifics of the legislation.
Maybe Pelosi was home sick during the time of his visit. Or maybe her dog ate her homework.
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