From Jonah Goldberg in Townhall, Jonathan Gruber Should’ve Been Time’s Person of the Year
For similar reasons, I think Time missed an opportunity in not putting Gruber on the cover. Tea partiers and Wall Street occupiers disagree on a great many things, but there’s one place where the Venn diagrams overlap: the sense we’re all being played for suckers, that the rules are being set up to benefit those who know how to manipulate the rules. The left tends to focus on Wall Street types whose bottom line depends more on lobbying Washington than satisfying the consumer.
But Gruber is something special. He was supposed to be better, more pure than the fat cats. Touted by press and politicians alike as an objective and fair-minded arbiter of health care reform, the MIT economist was in fact a warrior for the cause, invested emotionally, politically and, it turns out, financially through undisclosed consulting arrangements. The people who relied on his expertise never bothered to second-guess his conflicts of interest because they, too, were warriors in the same fight.
In speeches and interviews, Gruber admitted he helped the Obama administration craft the law in such a way that it would seem like it didn’t tax the American people when it did. Using insights gleaned in part from his status as an adviser to the Congressional Budget Office, Gruber helped construct an actuarial Trojan horse that could smuggle a tax hike past the CBO bean counters — because if the individual mandate had been counted as a tax, it would’ve been a big political liability for President Obama. (Fortunately for Obamacare, the Supreme Court saw through the subterfuge and called it tax, rendering it constitutional.)
from Gruber’s Pathetic Congressional Testimony in The National Review by John Fund:
Despite his constant memory lapses, what can we fairly deduce from the role of Jonathan Gruber in Obamacare? A person who advised the Congressional Budget Office in a formal capacity and admits to communicating with it on scoring issues (he hasn’t revealed details) is hired at the same time by the Obama administration via a mysterious non-competitive contract.
During that contract, which is in effect at the same time he is helping CBO with its health-care effort, he helps “torture” (Gruber’s word) the Obamacare bill so it will be scored in the most favorable light by CBO. This all sounds like a conflict of interest and a scandal of the highest order. After the new Congress is sworn in, Jonathan Gruber needs to be called to testify again. And perhaps some of his former colleagues at CBO should be at the witness table with him.
Ms. Lummis’s story during the Gruber hearing about her husband’s death demonstrates a tool often used by the left that the right needs to learn. It is not good enough to attack bad policies like Obamacare with theories and analysis and data; for the public to connect the dots you must connect on an emotional level. You must have real stories like hers that clearly show in real conditions the impact on real people. It does not matter that the story is only anecdotal; it is the emotional connection that is missing from many of the arguments from the right. They need more stories like this one from Congresswoman Lummis.
Victor Davis Hanson writes in The National Review, Liberalism in Ruins
Obamacare was, in the end, little more than a clumsy effort to take over the health-care system by redistributing resources from the supposedly too-well-off to the more noble less-well-off, with billions of dollars siphoned off to expand government bureaucracies and enrich crony capitalists. The architects of the Affordable Care Act were not affected by the ramifications of their own advocacy, which largely fell on the middle class in terms of higher deductibles, premiums, and taxes.
The point of the program was not to provide coverage to millions of uninsured Americans — that could have been done far more cheaply through existing programs — but to create a vast new federal bureaucracy to redistribute health-care resources. The legacy of the ACA will not be the diversion of the indigent from the emergency rooms and state and federal public clinics (which, after all, are largely still free in the sense of no premiums or deductibles), but the spiking of health-care costs through bureaucratic bloat and the rising deductible. The latter should be redefined as a premium, given that middle-class families will now be assessed, in addition to their premiums, hundreds of dollars in health-care costs each month until their much higher yearly deductibles are met.
From The Fiscal Times, Ed Morrissey writes How Obama Marginalized the Democratic Party
The admission didn’t surprise Obamacare opponents, though. Those opposed to Obamacare since its inception know that Schumer offered no arguments that hadn’t been made repeatedly during that period by the program’s opponents. Five years ago, Gallup found that 85 percent of Americans had health insurance coverage, 87 percent were satisfied with it, and 67 percent were satisfied with the costs. Half of the uninsured were satisfied with their health care, if not the costs.
Yet Democrats imposed a top-heavy government bureaucracy that upended the entire existing structure to address, as Schumer now acknowledges, 5 percent of the population. The costs for this system will be borne mainly by the middle class; the wealthy can afford a wide range of options, while most of the government benefits will apply to the small percentage of the population.
On top of that, we now know that the architects of this program held Americans in low esteem, considering them idiots to be misled into accepting a massively expensive intrusion on their freedom of choice that will only drain our resources more and more over the years.
- See more at: http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Columns/2014/11/28/How-Obama-Marginalized-Democratic-Party#sthash.kTh4IqGX.dpuf