Jonathan Gruber, one of the Affordable Care Act’s technical consultants, said that the reason the health care law is so large and “written in a tortured way” was to by-pass “the stupidity of the American voter.”
Gruber, sitting on a panel for the University of Pennsylvania 24th Annual Health Economics Conference, explained that the bill was designed not to be transparent because that’s the only way it would have passed. He even said that he wished the law could have been written plainly and honestly, but that sometimes you have to do what you have to do to push it through.
This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. Okay, so it’s written to do that. In terms of risk rated subsidies, if you had a law which said that healthy people are going to pay in – you made explicit healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed… 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 really critical for the thing to pass… Look, I wish Mark was right that we could make it all transparent, but I’d rather have this law than not.
The University of Pennsylvania removed the video of Gruber’s comments from their website following the news breaking about his comments.