Obamacare architect boasts: ‘Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage' (VIDEO)
A YouTube video of the discussion surfaced Sunday. It was quickly deleted and then reinstated by the University of Pennsylvania. The back-and-forth by the university fueled the video’s immense popularity.
As a technical consultant, Jonathan Gruber, economics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, played a key role in crafting the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare.
On October 17, 2013, at the University of Pennsylvania’s Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, Gruber discussed passage of the healthcare law, saying that concealing the true nature of the bill was “really, really critical for the thing to pass.”
Gruber signaled that the individual mandate, the law’s controversial requirement to attain government-approved insurance or pay a fine, was intentionally hawked as a “penalty” and not a “tax,” as the US Supreme Court deemed it to be in upholding the mandate’s legality.
“This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO [Congressional Budget Office] did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO 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 healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed,” he said during the 2013 discussion.
“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… Look, I wish Mark [Pauly, a fellow panelist] was right that we could make it all transparent, but I’d rather have this law than not.”
Gruber, essentially acknowledging the messy business of marketing and passing monumental legislation in America’s version of representative democracy, seemed to indicate that the end justified the means.
The video was first unearthed by the Daily Caller. A backlash ensued once the University of Pennsylvania decided to retract the video, though others had already captured and posted it on their own. Responding to criticism, the university reposted the video, now with much more interest than before its concealment.