President Obama’s dismissal of MIT’s Jonathan Gruber as just “some adviser” he barely remembers, rather than a key architect of ObamaCare, has always been one of the flimsiest and most transparent lies told by this profoundly dishonest White House.
Everyone knew Gruber was critical to ObamaCare, and when he was caught on tape high-fiving himself for helping to fool what he described as “stupid” American voters with the Affordable Care Act’s web of false promises and ludicrous projections, he was speaking from the Administration’s heart.
It’s still newsworthy that the House Oversight Committee has released emails to the Wall Street Journal showing Gruber had a far closer working relationship with the White House than it wanted to admit:
The emails show frequent consultations between Mr. Gruber and top Obama administration staffers and advisers in the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services on the Affordable Care Act. They show he informed HHS about interviews with reporters and discussions with lawmakers, and he consulted with HHS about how to publicly describe his role.
[…] “His proximity to HHS and the White House was a whole lot tighter than they admitted,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R., Utah), chairman of the House oversight committee. “There’s no doubt he was a much more integral part of this than they’ve said. He put up this facade he was an arm’s length away. It was a farce.”
Mr. Chaffetz on Sunday sent a letter to HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell requesting information justifying the department’s sole-source contract with Mr. Gruber for his work on the health law.
Good luck with that, Rep. Chaffetz. At the rate this Administration responds to congressional and public inquiries, you’ll be getting the answer to your letter sometime in 2018.
The emails show Mr. Gruber was in touch with key advisers such as Peter Orszag, who was director of the Office of Management and Budget, an arm of the White House that oversaw federal programs.
He was also in contact with Jason Furman, an economic adviser to the president, and Ezekiel Emanuel, who was then a special adviser for health policy at OMB.
One email indicates Mr. Gruber was invited to meet with Mr. Obama. In a July 2009 email, he wrote that Mr. Orszag had “invited me to meet with the head honcho to talk about cost control.”
“Thank you for being an integral part of getting us to this historic moment,” according to Sept. 9, 2009 email to Mr. Gruber fromJeanne Lambrew, a top Obama administration health adviser who worked at HHS and the White House. In a November 2009 email, she called Mr. Gruber “our hero.”
In an August 2009 email, Lawrence Summers—then a top economic adviser in the administration—emailed Mr. Gruber and asked “if you were POTUS, what would u do now?” Mr. Gruber responded that Mr. Obama should hold out for enough money to do universal coverage.
There’s a lot more at the Wall Street Journal piece linked above, including Gruber’s invaluable assistance in spinning reporters, working out deals with Big Labor, and getting recalcitrant Senators including Mary Landrieu (D-LA) on board. How’s that ObamaCare working out for you career-wise, Ms. Landrieu? Are you happy Gruber was able to talk you into supporting the law you knew was a pile of garbage?
As with every bit of truth cudgeled out of this furtive Administration, it took a long time for the House Oversight Committee to get to the bottom of this, after obtaining 20,000 pages of emails from MIT. Once again, the Obama delaying tactics worked like a charm.
When the President falsely denied Gruber’s role to the media, it gave them the go-ahead to largely ignore those bombshell videos in which he not only confirmed that the much-anticipated Supreme Court ruling in King v. Burwell should be a slam-dunk against ObamaCare, wiping out the subsidies illegally paid through the federal exchanges, but also explained at length how so much of the Affordable Care Act was an elaborate scam designed to keep American voters in the dark about the legislation’s true objectives and ramifications.
On the former point, Gruber was quite clear that the denial of subsidies to states that don’t set up their own ObamaCare exchanges was a deliberate feature of the legislation, not a typo or some old idea accidentally left lurking in the poorly-written Affordable Care Act. The reason we’re going to need the Supreme Court to decide the fate of the subsidies is that, contrary to the expectations of the brain trust that devised ObamaCare, the vast majority of states decided not to create such exchanges (and some of the states that did had to junk theirs, after wasting hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer money on them.)
Gruber and his pals figured only a few states would resist creating the exchanges, and the loss of subsidy money to their citizens would quickly pressure the holdout governors to knuckle under and set one up, thus allowing the federal government to offload the expense and hassle of the program (which ObamaCare’s creators always knew would be far, far greater than what they told the public) onto hapless conscripted state governments. As with so much of the Affordable Care Act, voluntary participation was an illusion, a lie. The states were to be given a hypothetical choice not to “opt in” to the exchange program, but in reality the subsidy baseball bat would be applied to the kneecaps of holdouts until they abandoned their resistance.
This is also the reason President Obama lied, and lied, and lied again about how you would be able to “keep your plan if you like your plan.” You were tricked into thinking participation in ObamaCare would be voluntary, and you could just stay with your old health care if you decided the new government-controlled offerings weren’t right for you. Obama explicitly put it that way when he was criscrossing the country to spread the Keep Your Plan lie – he said the Affordable Care Act would be so wonderful, saving average Americans some $2,500 a year on the cost of insurance while delivering a superior product, that people would voluntarily abandon their old plans and demand ACA plans in droves.
If the Obama media had paid proper attention to the significance of the Gruber revelations, and the White House had not been able to downplay the depth of his influence on the plan, the uncovering of his videotaped chest-thumping – by a citizen, not any sort of professional “journalist” – would have been devastating. Instead, once again, the media eagerly helped Obama shape a painful news cycle with falsehoods, and the truth comes out literally days before the Supreme Court rules on the subsidies – too late to influence the Court, while Obama was given a clear field to bully them into protecting his health care con job again.
The Obama Administration has always understood that truth depreciates in value over time. Today’s blockbuster revelation becomes tomorrow’s footnote. This is especially true under the “progressive” philosophy of never returning liberty it has taken.
The American people were never told ObamaCare would be a permanent disfigurement of the Constitutional order, invulnerable to repeal no matter how many of its promises were proven false, or how much damage it did to the lives of law-abiding taxpayers. They are never told this vision of “democracy” works by banana-republic rules: one man, one vote, one time; no apologies, no refunds, no more choices in the future. “Hope and Change” are popular slogans until the Left gets what it wants – then it’s Despair and Stasis, forever, and only heartless, selfish Enemies of the State would dare to hope for change.
By keeping the truth of ObamaCare hidden until Democrats were able to shove the Affordable Care Act down America’s throat in a dead-of-night vote, the Left accomplished its vital goal of tricking its subjects into signing away their freedom and taking steps toward collectivism they will never be able to retrace. What good does it do to learn the truth now? We live in an age where truth has full depreciated to become a yard-sale item, while we are forced ever deeper into debt to pay for illusions.