Monday, November 17, 2014

Obamacare’s hubris and deception

At the National Interest, W. James Antle III analyzes the uncomfortable truth behind technocrat Jonathan Gruber’s deception:

Gruber—again, not once, but twice—publicly endorsed the view that Obamacare was designed in this way to encourage states to set up their own exchanges. Since many states did not, a large number of Americans obtained their coverage through the federally run HealthCare.gov. The law could fall apart if these people don’t receive taxpayer subsidies.

Whatever you think about the intelligence of the average voter or the funding mechanisms for Obamacare, Gruber is clearly right about one thing.

“This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes,” Gruber admitted in 2013. Does any serious person really contest that this is true? Fortunately for Obamacare partisans, that did not stop the Supreme Court from ruling that the individual mandate was permissible under Congress’ taxing power, since any other constitutional justification was a stretch.

“In terms of risk-rated subsidies, if you had a law which explicitly said that healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed,” Gruber added. “You can’t do it politically, you just literally cannot do it.”

Is the man wrong about this, either? Sure, there was an abstract discussion about the need for the young and healthy to participate. That’s rather different than admitting the law would have winners and losers.

Gruber is an MIT professor. He earned his Ph.D. from Harvard, the president’s alma mater. Do they not teach about hubris in the Ivies? More tyranny comes out of those hallowed halls than anywhere else.

The headline of Antle’s piece is deceiving. Gruber’s gaffe is embarrassing, sure, but it’s not going to hinder Leviathan, which knows not shame. It’s not going to cause progressives to abandon their idol. If anything, now that they’re intentions have been exposed, they’ll cling to it like it’s their last breath.

Only indomitable political will can defund Obamacare, the kind Republicans have been unable to wield with reckless glee that makes enemies wet their pants, like Éomer here in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. One wonders why. Could it be the authoritarian Gruber got his start under the ostensibly conservative 2012 Republican presidential nominee? Terry Hurlbut writes:

Fox News Channel has a problem, too. They hammer Prof. Gruber, and they hammer Barack Obama. But what of Mitt Romney? After all, Romney hired Gruber, did he not?

Imagine how the Election of 2012 might have played out, had Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) known about the Noblis speech and campaigned on it. Would Republican voters still have given Romney enough delegates to nominate him for President? Or might they have nominated someone else, perhaps even Rep. Paul himself?

And consider this: Gruber said, as early as the start of primary season in 2012, that Romney has very dirty hands. Gruber even said, “Candidate Romney won’t tell you this today.” Of course he wouldn’t.

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And where is now the case for the Republican establishment? Do they not have at least as much guilt as does Obama? Did not Mitt Romney start the process of that “incremental universalism” of which Gruber also speaks?

Yes. As if Romney’s heinous debate performances and neoliberalism weren’t disqualifying enough, Gruber’s gaffe should end the foolish talk of him running for president yet again. A vote for Romney is a vote for a third term for Gruber.

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