July 25, 2014

Everybody's talking about Jonathan Gruber today, so let's see what The New York Times has.

"Mr. Gruber, 46, hates traveling without his wife and three children, so he is tracking the case from his home in Lexington, Mass. There he crunches numbers and advises other states on health care, in between headbanging at Van Halen concerts with his 15-year-old son and cuddling with the family’s eight parrots. (His wife, Andrea, volunteers at a bird rescue center.)"

Oh... that was back in March 2012, in a piece called "Academic Built Case for Mandate in Health Care Law" or as it comes up in the site search: "Jonathan Gruber, Health Care's Mr. Mandate."

So bang your head and cuddle your parrots... or go somewhere else to find out what's up with Gruber:
Jonathan Cohn / The New Republic:
Did Jonathan Gruber Just Endorse the Anti-Obamacare Lawsuit? — Obamacare architect offers an explanation for his 2012 quote — Did the people who designed Obamacare intend to deprive millions of people of health insurance, just because officials in their states decided not to operate their own insurance marketplaces?
Discussion: Power Line, Hit & Run, Hot Air, Washington Post, Bloomberg View, The Incidental Economist, The Federalist, Forbes, Washington Monthly, Patterico's Pontifications, The Daily Caller, Watchdog.org, Talking Points Memo and Le·gal In·sur·rec· tion

John Sexton / BREITBART.COM:
Obamacare Architect Jonathan Gruber Once Again Ties Subsidies to State-Based Exchanges — Did Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber make the same mistake twice? A new audio clip finds him once again explaining that Obamacare subsidies are tied to state health exchanges.
Discussion: Wall Street Journal, The Daily Caller, RedState, The Federalist, The PJ Tatler, Hot Air and Instapundit

Peter Suderman / Hit & Run:
Watch Obamacare Architect Jonathan Gruber Admit in 2012 That Subsidies Were Limited to State-Run Exchanges (Updated With Another Admission) — Earlier this week, a three-judge panel in the D.C. Circuit Court ruled that, contrary to the Obama administration's implementation …
Discussion: National Review, Forbes, American Spectator, The Incidental Economist, Power Line, Althouse, No More Mister Nice Blog, The Federalist, Lawyers, Guns & Money, ACASignups.net, The PJ Tatler, RedState, Instapundit and Balkinization

Kimberley A. Strassel / Wall Street Journal:
The ObamaCare-IRS Nexus — The supposedly independent agency harassed the administration's political opponents and saved its health-care law.
Discussion: Fox News, National Review and Power Line

Adrianna McIntyre / Vox:
Has a key Obamacare architect given the lawsuit against it a boost?
Discussion: American Prospect, NewsBusters and National Review

Michael F. Cannon / Forbes:
ObamaCare Architect Jonathan Gruber: “If You're A State And You Don't Set Up An Exchange …
Discussion: National Review, Hot Air and Power Line

Ryan Radia / Competitive Enterprise Institute:
Obamacare Architect Admitted in 2012 States without Exchanges Lose Subsidies
Discussion: The Federalist, National Review, The Daily Caller, Sister Toldjah, Talking Points Memo, Bloomberg View, Patterico's Pontifications, Fox News and Washington Post
I'm not recommending those articles, by the way. They just acknowledge the current issue, but — for example, in the case of Jonathan Cohn — perhaps just to perform in the theater of dismissing it as nothing... as a "speak-o" or whatever.

(By the way, contrary to possible popular belief, the word "speak-o" was not coined today. It has had an Urban Dictionary definition since 2004.)

UPDATE: Searching for "Jonathan Gruber" at 9:42 a.m. Saturday morning — about 18 hours after I published this post — I see that the NYT put up an article "13 hours ago," dated  July 25, 2014, the same date as this post. The article, written by Robert Pear and Peter Baker is titled "Ex-Obama Aide’s Statements in 2012 Clash With Health Act Stance." Excerpt:
Mr. Gruber backed away from his comments on Friday. But the remarks embarrassed the White House and could help plaintiffs in court cases challenging the payment of subsidies in 36 states that rely on the federal exchange.

“I made a mistake in some 2012 speeches in describing the tax credits,” Mr. Gruber said in an email on Friday. “It is clear from all my writings and modeling that I did over this same time period that tax credits are assumed to be available in all states. This is the only sensible reading of the Affordable Care Act and is corroborated by every single person who helped craft the law.”...

The White House played down the video on Friday, saying that Mr. Gruber had made clear in friend-of-the-court briefs that he supports the administration’s interpretation.

“His views on this are pretty clear,” said Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary. “I think that he described those remarks as a mistake. But I’d refer you to his explanation for why he said them. I think what is clear is that he, like Congress, intended for every eligible American to have access to tax credits that lower their health care costs, regardless of who is operating their marketplace.”
UPDATE 2: I've got more discussion of the new NYT article in a new post where I also look closely at what Josh Earnest said.

41 comments:

Michael said...

"Crunches numbers" is a phrase that might have come from NPR. Incredibly dated and very telling.

Tom said...

Hey Herr Gruber, yippee-ki-yay mother****er!

Anonymous said...

The best background article today is this Kimberly Strassel piece: http://online.wsj.com/articles/kim-strassel-the-obamacare-irs-nexus-1406244677

The architects of the ACA (including Gruber and Baucus) intended lack of subsidies to states not agreeing to start their own exchanges to be a stick to beat the holdouts with. When it became obvious states were dragging their feet, the party line changed to subsidies for all, but they could not go back to Congress to change the law (the horrors of compromise when you think you already won!) And so the conspiracy (if it's not legal to ignore the text of a law when writing the regs it authorizes) to pretend the law said something it didn't.

It would be interesting to subpoena all the IRS and HHS functionaries and consultants to see the full story. Another reason to flip the Senate. Do we care about the rule of law? or shall every administration write the regs they want, ignoring the text of the law?

Greg said...

Speak-o my foot-o.

Sigivald said...

Headbanging? Van Halen?

I ... no, I got nothin'.

That speaks for itself.

chuck said...

Taking Gruber at his word, it seems more of a brain fart than a speak-o. Liberal beans will do that.

Anonymous said...

Does it matter if speak-o was coined today?

He ought to be laughed at for that on every late night tv show tonight and next week. He should be lucky it happened to him on a Friday AND most of those shows are run by Democrats who support and are sympathetic to his position.

Eric said...

Gruber is a smart and arrogant guy. Go figure. He's not enhancing his reputation by trying to deny what he clearly said.

Ann Althouse said...

""Crunches numbers" is a phrase that might have come from NPR. Incredibly dated and very telling."

Yeah, numbers aren't crunchy anymore. They were left soaking in milk too long.

Lori said...

"Speak-O" may not have been coined today, but it became infamous today.

It should apply to all the other "O"-bamacare lies and be a new type all its own: saying and doing two different things to make an end-run around self-determination of the American people. It is topped off by then telling the country that you never said what we all heard you say.

In the psychiatric terms of verbal abuse, this is known as "crazy-making."

Wilbur said...

Just a perfect of example of what happens when you pass a legislative monstrosity too big for the legislators to actually, you know, read it.

I guess they really did have to pass it for us to find out what's in it, eh Ms. Pelosi?

Anonymous said...

It's embarrassing that Gruber is a prof at my alma mater. Normally "we" are the soul of propriety; his circuit pushing the ACA blew a hole in his reputation when it was revealed he failed to disclose the $400K in consulting contracts with the Administration.

This new material just confirms his mendacity.

Mark said...

How would this affect states who started their own exchanges but have since pulled the plug on them? Oregon (one of the "success stories" early on) recently scrapped it's exchange. Would they get the subsidies if the Supreme Court eventually decides only States with exchanges qualify?

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Oh, come on. OR was never a "success story." Its exchange signed up exactly no one. (No one on the exchange, that is; I think Medicaid is OK.) I think, like MD, they're planning on buying an exchange from one of the other few states that have actually gotten one operational.

Ann Althouse said...

A day that will live in coinfamy.

garage mahal said...

Speaking of crunching numbers, did the CBO [or anyone else] score the ACA with the assumption that subsidies would not be granted on the federal exchanges?

Michael K said...

There is also a video clip around showing Max Baucus explaining the same provision in Obamacare. That was when he was writing the bill (or his staff was ). For example:

Health Affairs explains

During congressional debate, the bill’s lead author, Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus (D-MT), explained that the bill conditions tax credits on the establishment of a state-run Exchange.

That dog just won't hunt. I don't see how Roberts can finesse this.

Michael K said...

When I want to waste time, I read left wing blogs. Of course, they block any comment. This is the one that Wash Monthly just blocked on the Gruber matter.

You might want to look at Health Affairs for more on this.

http://healthaffairs.org/blog/2012/08/01/the-illegal-irs-rule-to-expand-tax-credits-under-the-ppaca-a-response-to-timothy-jost/

" During congressional debate, the bill’s lead author, Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus (D-MT), explained that the bill conditions tax credits on the establishment of a state-run Exchange."

I doubt you will allow this comment but there it is.


And, of course it was blocked. Also they don't allow me to copy the "blocked" message. Maybe I should comment over there as garage. Heads would explode.

Tom said...

This seems like game, set, match to me. The text itself has never been on their side and these comments along with those from Baucus clearly show that intent contrary to the text doesn't exist.

So, the text says one thing, the intent says the same thing and there's no ambiguity. If the IRS has leeway on this to do what they're doing, then we're essentially handing off all legislative duties to an adminstrative agency that's never been granted that authority. I can't see how the Supremes could sign off on this. Sure, I can see the people that Obama stuffed the DC Circuit with sign off on it, but I can't see Roberts or Kennedy be okay with it. The precedent would be incredibly damaging.

Mark said...

Michelle, I distinctly remember Oregon's Exchange being touted as a success story.

averagejoe said...

Lori said...
"Speak-O" may not have been coined today, but it became infamous today.

It should apply to all the other "O"-bamacare lies and be a new type all its own: saying and doing two different things to make an end-run around self-determination of the American people. It is topped off by then telling the country that you never said what we all heard you say.

"If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your insurance, you can keep your insurance. Period"
"I didn't draw that red line. The world drew the red line."
"I believe that marriage is between one man and one woman."

Speak-O-bama

Jason said...

I have been instructed to inform you that "Speak-O" is the operative statement. The others are no longer operative.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Mark,

Oh.

(1) MSNBC. Not dispositive, I know.

(2) It distinctly says (3/2014) that OR's exchange site is still not working. What is working is the Medicaid signup. Of course it is.

(3) So far as I know, OR's exchange still doesn't work, four months further on.

There are sites that actually do work. CA and KY, as I understand it. But OR is not a good example.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

garage mahal,

Speaking of crunching numbers, did the CBO [or anyone else] score the ACA with the assumption that subsidies would not be granted on the federal exchanges?

A very good question, to which I don't know the answer. I'm assuming that the CBO scored it with the assumption that federal-exchange states would get subsidies, as that's been the operating assumption for the last couple years, but ... anyone know the answer?

Real American said...

it's not a speak-o. It's a Kinsey gaffe - he accidentally told the truth.

Humperdink said...

Now that Gruber's current denial has been utter destroyed by video, I believe we now have the odds-on favorite for Lie-Of-The-Year(circa 2014).

Funny how Obamacare continue to be award winning legislation..

Birkel said...

The CBO scores legislation based on rules established by Congress. There is no reason whatsoever to assume the CBO would have scored the ACA in any way other than that prescribed by the Democrats.

Anybody asking these questions is on a fool's errand.

"garage mahal" is a fool.

Jane the Actuary said...

Just asking: are there any contemporaneous statements that subsidies will be universally available to both state and federal exchange customers?

Because I'm not seeing any.

tim maguire said...

Does the Urban Dictionary define "speak-o" as wonk for "lie-o"?

Curious George said...

garage mahal said...
Speaking of crunching numbers, did the CBO [or anyone else] score the ACA with the assumption that subsidies would not be granted on the federal exchanges?

Looks like the CBO is walking away from this trainwreck saying with all the changes it's impossible to score. I guess this is what happens when Obama can just add mandates and push off deadlines.

http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/208314-cbo-to-stop-measuring-certain-o-care-effects

Curious George said...

"Eric said...
Gruber is a smart and arrogant guy. Go figure. He's not enhancing his reputation by trying to deny what he clearly said."

But first an foremost he is a liberal and he won't be shunned, he will be applauded by the left. He stood firm and took one for the team.

Look at all the academic types that were caught lying about AGW. They still are the rock starts they always were.

There are no rules or boundaries when it comes to the left and their cause. None.

rhhardin said...

I'd suppose, from German, a Gruber is one who digs pits.

pm317 said...

I highly recommend Kim Strassel's article and don't understand why it is not getting its fair share of exposure. It nails down all the shenanigans of the political appointees at both Treasury, HHS, and finally, the IRS (naming names, google Emily McMahon). Will the courts (the 4th circuit in particular) defer to these scum of a people?

garage mahal said...

Anybody asking these questions is on a fool's errand.

Hush. Adults are having a conversation.

Birkel said...

"garage mahal" asked a question, the underlying assumptions of which expose "garage mahal" as uninformed about the subject of the question, and then "garage mahal" claimed "garage mahal" was an adult.

Classic "garage mahal"!

Fernandinande said...

Michael K said...
I don't see how Roberts can finesse this.


He used his 7th Level Wizard Powers to transmute a fine into a tax, so transmuting a "subsidy" or a "state" into whatever he wants will be a piece of cake; eating the cake will then take him to Level 8.

Danno said...

In response to having CBO score the exchange subsidies, wouldn't it be necessary to have disclosure of the assumption made on how many states would build/operate exchanges that was envisioned with the "stick" that was employed to "encourage" states to create exchanges? My guess is that they would have assumed all of the states would create exchanges. In fact, didn't the administration keep extending the deadlines for creating exchanges to try to make this happen?

Rick67 said...

I'm so glad he's such a cool family man who's into Van Halen and birds... after done so much to wreck 1/6 of the US economy and affordable medical insurance for millions of Americans.

The Crack Emcee said...

"Headbanging at Van Halen concerts"

In 2014?

Wow - the levels of white lameness are never-ending,….

Forbes said...

Gruber--> It is clear from all my writings and modeling that I did over this same time period that tax credits are assumed to be available in all states.

Well of course he ASSumed the tax credits to be available in all the states. He assumed Obamacare was wonderfully terrific and so finger-licking-good that no state would pass up creating their own exchanges. He was wrong. Massively so. Embarrassingly so. And is so unable to admit he was wrong, Gruber invents fanciful explanations out of whole cloth.

Now he's not just wrong, he's an embarrassment.

southcentralpa said...

I dunno, a 46YO man who headbangs must be presumed guilty of wearing shorts until proven innocent ...