Are you stupid? Am I stupid? Dr. Jonathan Gruber (rhymes with uber) an MIT economist and one of the architects of Obamacare, seems to think so. He has been caught on video explaining how the so-called Affordable Care Act was sold to the American public.
“Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically, that was really critical to get this thing to pass," he said.
Gruber said, “If you had a law which … made explicit that healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed.”
Although Dr. Gruber’s disdain for Americans’ lack of intelligence is obvious from his ridiculous remarks, repeated often, the greater danger is an elitist mindset shared by too many officials in the Obama administration, including President Obama himself. These practitioners of paternalism really believe they know what is best for the rest of us mere mortals.
In a speech at the University of Michigan, shortly before signing the Affordable Care Act in 2010, President Obama lectured his audience, saying, “When we don’t pay close attention to the decisions made by our leaders, when we fail to educate ourselves about the major issues of the day … that’s when democracy breaks down. That’s when power is abused.”
With due respect, power is also abused when our leaders, including President Obama, deceive us by making promises, over and over, if we like our doctor and our health plan, we can keep them. Whether those promises were made in good faith or in deliberate deception, I cannot say.
However, one thing is clear. The president’s broken promises on Obamacare have damaged his credibility with the American people. Even though he wasn’t on the ballot this year, many of his Democrat apologists were. The GOP’s rout of the Democrats resulted in a Republican majority in the Senate, and more gains in their House majority. The American voters have resoundingly repudiated the Democrats and the Obama’ administration’s policies. President Obama said, “I hear you.” The question is did he actually listen to what he heard? I doubt it. His subsequent actions suggest he has somehow morphed a mauling into a mandate.
Despite his arrogant, elitist views, Dr. Gruber has unwittingly performed a public service by “blurting out the truth” regarding the paternalism, cynicism, and deception that went into Obamacare. I predict he will be called on to testify further, this time before Congress, on all that.
Congressional hearings on Obamacare, warts and all, are likely to be high on the agenda of the new GOP-controlled Congress. Their goal will be major reform, if not outright repeal, of this controversial law.
Retired Army Col. Thomas B.Vaughn can be reached at email@example.com.