White House consultant explains how to kill Obamacare

politics | Nov 28, 2014 | By Martin Barillas

In a video that has recently emerged, White House consultant Jonathan Grube explained what Republicans can do to virtually annul the controversial Affordable Care Act. In the video, which was recorded at Noblis in January 2012, Gruber talks about the ACA and its vulnerabilities. For example, Gruber says “….If the mandate is struck the law basically caves in….If you get rid of this mandate, this law becomes much less effective.” He makes these remarks at approximately the 27 minute mark. Noblis describes itself on its website, as a "nonprofit science, technology, and strategy organization that brings the best of scientific thought, management, and engineering expertise with a reputation for independence and objectivity," which supports government and private clients in "national security, intelligence, transportation, healthcare, environmental sustainability, and enterprise engineering."
 
After Gruber says in the video, “The second threat is the election,” he continues, "Despite what candidates will tell you, Republicans can not come in and repeal this law overnight. Certainly not if they don’t have close to 60 votes in the Senate, even if they did have close to 60 votes in the Senate, they can not do that. What they can do, is they can essentially kill it from the inside, because this is such a complicated transformation that fundamental leadership is required at the federal level, and that leadership has to come from the president and the administration, in terms of financing decisions, and just sort of cheerleading as this thing gets implemented. The lack of cheerleading and financial support could cause the implementation to go terribly and cause this thing to crater in on itself. So there is enormous risk the entire law just craters if there’s not someone in the White House who cares about making it work. So you don’t need active repeal. You just need ignorance, ignoring the law, and letting it wither on the vine. That may be enough, and that’s real threat, that’s the major threat I think the law faces.
 
Gruber is an economist who teaches at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He recently became the focus of controversy when yet another video, shot in 2013, recorded him saying that Obamacare had passed because of "the stupidity of the American voter." He will have an opportunity to explain his remarks to the House Committee on Government Oversigth and Reform on December 9. Also attending will be Marilyn Tavenner - the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, R-California confirmed in a November 25 tweet that Gruber will be deposed. Congressman Issa is expected to depose Tavenner about discrepancy in Obamacare enrollment numbers. While Tavenner had told Issa's committee that 7.3 million had registered, the number was just under 7 million. The tally had included 400,000 dental plans.
 
Even while Gruber was an advisor to the Obama administration on the health care reform, President Obama himself disavowed the academic and his comments, saying he is "some adviser who never worked on our staff."  House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said, "I don't know who he is."
 
Other comments made by Gruber have emerged. In one, he criticizes states that oppose Medicaid expansion and federal funds associated with it as "awesome in its evilness." Those states, he said, are "willing to sacrifice billions of dollars in injections into their economy in order to punish poor people."
 
Gruber has also advised several states on their health care exchanges, which are part of the Obamacare reform. However, Vermont recently announced that it will not pay the rest of what it owes to Gruber as part of his $400,000 consulting fee. He has consulted on healthcare initiatives in at least the following states: Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
 
Issa is calling Tavenner to testify about the discrepancy in Obamacare enrollment numbers. Tavenner had told the committee that 7.3 million had signed up, when in fact the number was just under 7 million. It turned out that 400,000 dental plans had been included in the tally.onathan Gruber, the MIT economist who gained unwelcome fame for talking about the “stupidity of the American voter,” previously wrote that legalized abortion reduces welfare costs and means more children are likely to graduate college.
 
Gruber is a co-author of a paper published in 1997 and updated in 2009, along with Douglass Staiger of Harvard University and Phillip Levine of Wellesley College. Coming 25 years after the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, they wrote “[T]he average living circumstances of cohorts of children born immediately after abortion became legalized improved substantially relative to preceding cohorts, and relative to places where the legal status of abortion was not changing.”
 
The paper suggests that children who had lived, instead of succumbing to procured abortion, would have suffered a poorer quality of life. “Our results suggest that the marginal children who were not born as a result of abortion legalization would have systematically been born into worse circumstances had the pregnancies not been terminated: they would have been 70 percent more likely to live in a single parent household, 40 percent more likely to live in poverty, 35 percent more likely to die during the first year of life, and 50 percent more likely to be in a household collecting welfare.” Furthermore, Gruber et al. wrote, “The last of these finding implies that the selection effects operating through the legalization of abortion saved the government over $14 billion in welfare payments through the year 1994.”
 
“In particular, it increased likelihood of college graduation, lower rates of welfare use, and lower odds of being a single parent,” the 2009 paper said.

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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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