What Gruber did, specific language aside, the offensive language aside, what he did was tell the truth. Legislation always needs collective ignorance about many elements of it in order to move forward. I promise you, there was not one person who voted for the Affordable Care Act who could tell you more than 30% of what was in it. I had the pleasure of coming on this set, sitting in this chair, and announcing to America that there were fifteen taxes in the Affordable Care Act that no one knew about because they were developed in secret as they always are by Senate Finance Committee staff and as soon as Max Baucus’ work product was finally public we then knew that. But through the course of that debate, those fifteen taxes did not get debated.
All of #GruberGate in Two Minutes
In other words, an overwhelming number of the ostensibly independent statements or scores that were made or published in support of Obamacare —from Krugman, Klein, Brownstein, the DNC, Reid, Pelosi, Sebelius, and even, to a significant degree, the CBO itself — were traceable to the support of one man and his model. And that man was Jonathan Gruber, who was secretly under contract with the Obama administration.
Perhaps it’s time to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a winning conservative alternative that would lower costs, secure liberty, and make it possible for any American who wants to buy health insurance to be able to do so. And perhaps it’s time to make sure that Jonathan Gruber’s influence over the CBO’s scoring of Obamacare, and of Obamacare alternatives, doesn’t extend into the next Congress.
In June 2009, Obama signed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, a regulatory measure that Philip Morris supported and reportedly helped write — smaller competitors called it the “Marlboro Monopoly Act.” That same month, Wal-Mart, the country’s largest private-sector employer, publicly endorsed the employer mandate in health insurance that became part of Obamacare. The drug lobby wrote significant parts of Obamacare, and the hospital lobby liked the bill enough to file an amicus curiae brief with the court defending the law from its challenge by states and the small business lobby.
There are no national surveys that track doctors’ political leanings, but as more doctors move from business owner to shift worker, their historic alliance with the Republican Party is weakening from Maine as well as South Dakota, Arizona and Oregon, according to doctors’ advocates in those and other states.
That change could have a profound effect on the nation’s health care debate. Indeed, after opposing almost every major health overhaul proposal for nearly a century, the American Medical Association supported President Obama’s legislation last year because the new law would provide health insurance to the vast majority of the nation’s uninsured, improve competition and choice in insurance, and promote prevention and wellness, the group said.
The money spent on healthcare lobbying has dropped off considerably from a year ago when Congress was in the midst of the healthcare reform debate, according to disclosure records filed this week.
The main exceptions, as expected, are health insurance plans that are battling to shape an array of pending regulations that seek to overhaul their business model.