By Nancy Thorner and Ed Ingold –
Despite protests from leading Democrats and the White House, it is increasingly clear that Jonathan Gruber played a key role in determining the cost of Obamacare and how to conceal that from the public. Gruber even wrote a Health Care comic book published in December, 2012 which was available for purchase at Amazon, titled: “Health Care Reform: What is it, Why it’s Necessary, How it Works.”
As an economist, Mr. Gruber runs a model that can analyze changes to the health market. He earned nearly $400,000 consulting with the Department of Health and Human Services in the run-up to the law’s passage, and has earned hundreds of thousands of dollars more from states who asked for his help in implementing Obamacare, for a total of over $4 million, according to Fox News.
On reflection, Jonathan Gruber’s real purpose was to conceal the true cost from the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) in order to introduce a layer of legitimacy on top of the Democratic talking points. In comments that have just come to light, Mr. Gruber said the health care bill was written in a “tortured” way to ensure the Congressional Budget Office didn’t score the individual mandate as a tax. In a surprise decision in 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the mandate as constitutional under Congress’ taxing power anyway.
The CBO “scores” legislation regarding its impact on the budget, deficit, and taxes over a period of ten years. It is often cited as “bi-partisan” and “independent,” which supposedly establishes its credibility. However, the CBO does not conduct an independent investigation. They base their analysis on information received from Congress (actually, the majority party). The projected cost (score) is based solely on these instructions.
By placing a tax on insurance policies, the CBO does not consider it a tax on consumers, even though consumers pay it in the form of higher premiums. A 40% tax on corporate benefit plans worth more than $12K a year is actually a tax on benefits. That is the median value of health insurance plans from any source, which means half the people will be paying this tax. More significantly, companies will reduce employee benefits to stay under this arbitrary and cynical threshold. We could go on, but the point is that there is a degree of separation between many Obamacare taxes and the tax payers which allows the CBO to ignore them in their calculations.
To nobody’s surprise, President Obama knew nothing of this, nor of Gruber’s contributions, until he heard it on the news. As Obama told reporters this past Sunday (November 16) at the G-20 Summit in Australia:
“The fact that some adviser who never worked on our staff expressed an opinion that I completely disagree with in terms of the voters, is no reflection on the actual process that was run.”
A PBS interview shows Gruber revealing the president was in on the sessions where deception was discussed as a tool.
Peter Wehner, At Commentary Magazine, wrote that Obama was “getting pathological.” Furthermore:
Mr. Wehner went on to state: “This was pure smokescreen. Obama would package and sell his plan on more lies than Bernie Madoff sold his – and with more disastrous consequences.”
Lincoln said (attributed to Lincoln): “You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but not all of the people all of the time.”
That’s true today, but modern demographics seems to have made “some” of the people a voting majority.