Friday, July 25, 2014

Coup de Gruber

Not a good day to be an MIT economist named Jonathan, as a second podcast has surfaced (scroll down 4 speakers) where architect of Obamacare states, clearly and explicitly (at 33:00), that the governors and legislatures that have failed to establish state health insurance exchanges are passing up hundreds of millions of dollars--if not billions--in subsidies to their citizens.

I.e., those subsidies are only available for health insurance purchased on state exchanges, not on federal exchanges. Which Barack Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi are denying.

Gruber has been busy explaining away his first second such statement made in Virginia a few weeks before a week after this one in San Francisco, as a response to a question from the audience that he erred on. But, the latest one has his admission in his prepared speech.

Don't expect any more $400,000 consulting gigs to come your way soon, Jon.

[Update] While Gruber isn't a lawyer, and can't thus be disbarred, what is the penalty for filing an amicus brief with an Appeals Court that contains a falsehood?

[Update II] Peter Suderman of provides the text of Gruber's San Francisco remarks;
The third risk, and the one folks aren’t talking about, which may be most important of all, is the role of the states. Through a political compromise, it was decided that states should play a critical role in running these health insurance exchanges. And health insurance exchanges are the centerpiece of this reform, because they are the place that individuals can go to shop for their new, securely priced health insurance. But if they are not set up in a way which is transparent, and which is convenient for shoppers, and which allow people to take their tax credits and use them effectively by health insurance, it will undercut the whole purpose of the bill.

Now a number of states have expressed no interest in doing so. A number of states—like California, has been a real leader—one of, I think it was the first state to pass an exchange bill. It's been a leader in setting up its exchange. It’s a great example. But California is rare. Only about 10 states have really moved forward aggressively on setting up their exchanges. A number of states have even turned down millions of dollars in federal government grants as a statement of some sort—they don’t support health care reform.

Now, I guess I'm enough of a believer in democracy to think that when the voters in states see that by not setting up an exchange the politicians of a state are costing state residents hundreds and millions and billions of dollars, that they'll eventually throw the guys out. But I don't know that for sure. And that is really the ultimate threat, is, will people understand that, gee, if your governor doesn't set up an exchange, you're losing hundreds of millions of dollars of tax credits to be delivered to your citizens. [emphasis added]

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