25 Jul 2014 Jonathan Gruber: Hero of the Republic
I’ve previously dubbed Jonathan Gruber as “Society’s Spokesman.” I’m now also conferring on the MIT professor and architect of ObamaCare the title Hero of the Republic. The reason is back in 2012 he stated that ObamaCare only permitted premium subsidies to go to state exchanges. (The relevant part starts at about 31:24):
And here is the quote:
What’s important to remember politically about this is if you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits—but your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill. So you’re essentially saying [to] your citizens you’re going to pay all the taxes to help all the other states in the country. I hope that that’s a blatant enough political reality that states will get their act together and realize there are billions of dollars at stake here in setting up these exchanges. But, you know, once again the politics can get ugly around this. [Italics added.]
Big hat tip to Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Ryan Radia for finding this.
I don’t have much to add as Radia, Michael Cannon, Peter Suderman, Phil Kerpen and Ben Domenech have pretty much covered the relevant issues.
I’ll just add that for all the left-wing pundits who called the plaintiff’s arguments in Halbig vs. Burwell “ridiculous” and such, I’ll gladly barbecue some crow for you.
UPDATE: In an interview with Jonathan Cohn, Jonathan Gruber claimed that “I was speaking off-the-cuff. It was just a mistake.” Apparently, he made that mistake twice: