Obamacare architect warned about lack of federal subsidies in 2012


Turns out one of the premiere architects of the Obamacare law warned states in 2012 that if they didn’t set up their own health exchanges, their citizens would be denied subsidies. Wait… wasn’t there just a court ruling on something like that?

Yes, there was!

The political world was abuzz this week with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in Halbig v. Burwell that upheld a challenge to Obamacare subsidies on the federal exchange. As Tea Party Patriots Co-founder Jenny Beth Martin explained at the time[1]:

“It’s critical to understand the purpose of the challenge: Halbig and her co-plaintiffs sued to prevent an illegal tax from being collected. In order to prevent the illegal tax from being collected, the illegal subsidies had to end. By ruling that the subsidies are illegal, the Court is simultaneously ruling that the taxes are illegal.”

The left, including the Obama Administration and the Obamacare apologists in the mainstream media, openly scoffed at the ruling. They spent all week arguing that if the wording of the legislation doesn’t grant federal subsidies, it’s a typo. The intent of the law CLEARLY suggests everyone should have access to affordable healthcare.

Enter Jonathan Gruber.

Gruber is an MIT economist who consulted for the Obama Administration on the health care law. In the years since, he has defended the law up and down. After it passed, many states sought his help in explaining the legislation, as they struggled with preparing to set up exchanges. Here’s what Gruber told[2] an audience on January 18, 2012:

“What’s important to remember politically about this if you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits – but your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill.”

Gruber, in 2012, was undeniably warning states about the very thing Halbig challengers based their case on. He went on to say that “I hope that that’s a blatant enough political reality that states will get their act together and realize there are billions of dollars at stake here in setting up these exchanges. But, you know, once again the politics can get ugly around this.”

After the video was unearthed, Martin released a statement saying, in part:

“The shocking revelation by Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber should be Exhibit A in the inevitable Supreme Court hearing on the president’s health insurance debacle; it defines the issue involving state insurance exchanges and tax credits. The Administration deliberately designed Obamacare to deny tax credits for people in states that don’t set up a state health exchange, as the “stick” to force states to create the exchanges.”

We’ll see what the left has to say about this.