Monday, November 10, 2014

PPACA's Architect Explains Why Obamacare Drafters Needed to Deceive the Public to Pass It. A Visit with Armstrong and Getty, 11/10/14

  • Nevertheless, recent audio illuminates that in order for them to succeed in major initiatives, it would be a lot better if as few people as possible knew or understood what was being passed. 
I joined Jack and Joe for a brief visit this morning to explain Medicare's "doc fix" and its relation to the newly surfaced audio from Jonathan Gruber.  Gruber, an MIT Economist was one of the key persons who drafted PPACA.  “Lack of transparency” helped the Obama administration and congressional Democrats pass the Affordable Care Act, Gruber explained.  “Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage,” said Gruber.  “And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical for the thing to pass.”

That audio is reportedly from last year but just surfaced over the weekend.  Last week, I'd given Joe a thumbnail sketch on the "doc fix" in Medicare and how that single element was obfuscated and exploited during the passage of Obamacare.  In light of this recent, audio, Jack and Joe wanted me to come on today for brief summary on how the two topics intertwine.

17 times in 11 years, Congress and the President have delayed mandated Medicare reimbursement cuts as part of the so called ‘doc fix’.  Those cuts have been required by law since 1997 and neither party has had the gumption nor the wherewithal to either implement them, or more prudently, enact an honest solution.  However, in passing PPACA, the CBO scored the law as if the Medicare cuts would actually occur.  Not one congressman, senator or member of the executive branch truly believed such a cut would really happen.  But that didn't matter, as Gruber's above audio summarizes so nicely.  Being genuine would make it awfully hard to legislate for the "stupid" voters.

Here is my audio from the 8:00 AM hour of today's Armstrong and Getty Show (my discussion begins at 12:54.  The longer discussion before I join begins at 7:56):

Last year Professor Gruber also made it clear that under his reading of PPACA, only states who set up their own Exchanges would be able to issue subsidies to their residents.  This, once again, became relevant over the weekend as the Supreme Court has finally decided to weigh in on this issue.  The Obama Administration has been arguing in federal courts over the past year or more that it would be ludicrous for PPACA to fail to provide subsidies in the 34 states who chose not to set up an Exchange and allow the federal government, instead, to administer that Exchange.  (Read more about that on this site, under the Oklahoma vs. Obamacare tab.)  It is going to be rather difficult for the Administration to ague to the Supreme Court that it is absurd to think Obamacare would not permit such subsidies in the federal Exchanges with one of their chosen drafters publicly saying things like this: