What does it take to convince a nation to pass a law such as the Affordable Care Act? According to MIT health economist and Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber, a “lack of transparency” and the “stupidity of an American voter.”
In a 2013 clip that has been recently brought into focus, Gruber speaks candidly on Obamacare and the role he played. An expert in making predictions on how new laws will play out, specifically in healthcare, Gruber was contacted by the White House in 2008 when it was in need of a consultant, according to the New York Times. It is then that Gruber was able to tell them that, based off his research, they would have to require everyone to buy insurance in order for health care reform to work.
In the recording posted by American Commitment, Gruber emphasizes the importance of a lack of transparency, commenting: “If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. OK, 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.”
Gruber's comments blatantly make it known that law makers feared that voters would not pass the bill if they knew their money would be going towards other patients and not directly and positively impacting themselves. Because of this fear, they left out key details, which might have swayed the votes.
Obamacare has statistically been shown not to be favored amongst most Americans, and this recent clip might have added an even more negative opinion of the Affordable Care Act. According to a report released in September by the Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, 47 percent of Americans viewed Obamacare unfavorably. In light of this new information, it will be interesting to see how the Democrats will react, especially leading up to the 2016 election.