Jonathan Gruber, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist who helped design the Massachusetts health law that was the model for Obamacare, was a key influence on the creation of the law. He was widely quoted in the media. During the crafting of the law, the Obama administration brought him on for his expertise. He was paid almost $400,000 to consult with the administration on the law. And he has claimed to have written part of the legislation, the section dealing with small business tax credits.
After the law passed, in 2011 and throughout 2012, multiple states sought his expertise to help them understand their options regarding the choice to set up their own exchanges. During that period of time, in January of 2012, Gruber told an audience at Noblis, a technical management support organization, that tax credits—the subsidies available for health insurance—were only available in states that set up their own exchanges.
Via @kerpen, here’s the relevant video:
This is important, of course, because the US Court of Appeals earlier this week agreed with Mr. Gruber’s 2012 analysis, thus putting the law into what can best be described as a supremely awkward position. As Reason noted later in the article, Gruber in 2013 was telling hardcore progressives pretty much what they wanted to hear: to wit, that the argument that Obamacare was not permitted to offer subsidies to policies on the federal exchange was ‘nutty.’ Alas, the man is yet another person in public and/or policy life who has not yet internalized the fairly simple fact that pretty much everything is being recorded now. Including the things that one might not want to actually have recorded.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
PS: Possibly the most damning thing about this video is that Jonathan Gruber stated, quite forthrightly, that the decision to deny subsidies to federal exchange policies was deliberate, and designed to push states into starting their own exchanges. That is… extremely unhelpful to the current Democratic narrative.