Ezra Klein has declared the events surrounding Jonathan Gruber "Obamacaregate." www.vox.com/2014/11/15/7221397…
Why? Because in Ezra's own words, Gruber's statements confirm everything that Obamacare opponents already knew about the bill: "it's an unconstitutional law jammed through Congress on false pretenses by elitist technocrats who dismiss the intelligence of the American people."
For those who haven't been following this particular chain of events, the controversy has two parts (that Klein explains):
1.) Jonathan Gruber, lead architect of Obamacare, declared in front of an audience of technocrats that Obamacare's crucial subsidies cannot be implemented in the 36 states that refused to build an exchange. This directly supports the plaintiffs' arguments in the legal case, King v. Burwell
, and would crush Obamacare in Republican states.
2.) Jonathan Gruber, lead architect of Obamacare, declared (on video) in front of audiences of Obamacare supporters, on at least 5 different occasions, that Americans are idiots that need to be tricked into supporting Obamacare through deceitful messaging like children who don't want to eat their veggies.
What's remarkable about this article is that Ezra Klein, who made his career by blogging in support of Obamacare, is still trying to play defense, even as he presents all these damning facts to his readers. He is a true believer who still just can't figure out why Gruber's speeches in front of supporters and messaging campaign in front of all us ignorant rubes seem to contradict each other. Klein still wants to believe that Gruber's messaging campaign is the transparent truth, while his comments to insiders don't really represent what he believes. Klein doesn't want to admit that he's been taken for a ride, and is willing to bizarrely suggest that Gruber was just acting stupidly when he said those things (repeatedly).
Of course, Klein's explanation, like those of Nancy Pelosi
and Barack Obama
is just an absurd attempt to sever Obamacare's architect to save the rest of it. Staying in this metaphor, you can cut off a limb to save the body, but it doesn't really work when the problem is in the head.
Still, we've been able to make a clear argument that Obamacare was "an unconstitutional law jammed through Congress on false pretenses by elitist technocrats who dismiss the intelligence of the American people" since long before Gruber's comments came out. From Pelosi's declaration that "you have to pass the bill to find out what is in it,"
to Obama's Lie of the Year
that "If you like your plan/doctor/insurance, you can keep it. Nobody's going to take that away," the contempt that the leaders who created this bill have for our intelligence and for our right to personal choice has been clear from the start. And when Americans started to realize that they had been fooled, Obama's response was to declare the need for "more messaging" (i.e. lie harder). This strategy successfully fooled enough gullible people to temporarily boost his approval ratings and get him reelected in 2012.
Well, on the plus side, we are finally past the point where Obamacare's supporters can just ignore all these inconvenient facts, as Ezra Klein has done for years. But many true believers are still on the defensive. How long will it take them to come to terms with the fact that they were fooled? Are we nearing the point where enough people realize that Obamacare is a mistake that we can finally talk about how to get rid of it and undo the damage done by health care regulation?