Obamacare Mastermind Jonathan Gruber Vents About Court Ruling Against His Creation – And Gets a Lot Wrong

P. Gardner Goldsmith | December 20, 2018
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Well, well, well.

One of the most controversial figures in contemporary American politics, the man who said that he exploited the “stupidity of the American voter,” and intentionally made Obamacare vague, on Dec. 15 ran crying to his hideaway pals at the Boston Globe after a Federal District Court judge struck down his lovely creation, the fascistic “Obamacare” law.

And, though the exercise might be akin to cleaning a hair clog from a drain, now is our opportunity to take a look at what he had to offer – in all its syntaxically tortured glory – and see why he seems as unctuous and arrogant as ever.

At the opening, Gruber and the esteemed editors at the Globe don’t fill the reader with a great deal of confidence that one is in for a reading treat. The very first paragraph of this “Op-Ed” not only lacks the word “as” at a crucial point in its second sentence, it lacks any connection to the facts of the case.

Late on Friday, a federal judge in Texas ruled in favor of a lawsuit arguing that the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, was unconstitutional. The theory of this case was that the individual mandate acts (sic) an “unseverable” part of the ACA, and so when Republicans repealed the individual mandate penalty as part of their tax cuts in late 2017, it rendered the entire ACA moot.

One wonders if Gruber made his “Op-Ed” unreadable to slip things past people, as he made “Obamacare” convoluted to do the same, or if his lack of writing skills is connected to something else.

Of course, it’s not just a lack of writing ability that’s disturbing (his piece if so full of split infinitives he could be considered a lumberjack of verbs), it is also his completely transparent attempt to portray the “inseparability” argument as something Federal District Judge Reed O’Corror concocted.

Actually, as Judge O’Connor points out, the Obama Administration repeatedly claimed that the IRS-delivered “tax penalty” for not buying insurance was, in fact, inseparable from the rest. This isn’t something concocted by “Mandela Effect” theorists. Here’s just some of what the judge wrote in his opinion, in case Mr. Gruber would like to read it:

Congress stated many times unequivocally—through enacted text signed by the President—that the Individual Mandate is “essential” to the ACA. And this essentiality, the ACA’s text makes clear, means the mandate must work “together with the other provisions” for the Act to function as intended.

But Gruber is insistent. Citing no one, he says:

Even diehard opponents of the ACA who supported previous lawsuits have pointed out that there is no legal basis for this ruling.


When Gruber was paid to construct Obamacare, was he not paid via taxes collected by the giant, unconstitutional, out of control bureaucracy that the federal government and its acolytes have spawned?

If so, would it, perhaps, be in order to ask him where the heck the Constitution – otherwise known as the “legal basis” to folks who tell us the federal government is legitimate – enumerates any power to Congress to let its members command people to buy insurance? How about an enumerated power “allowing” Congress to mandate provision of health coverage, based on what he and his political money-handlers dictate?

His subterfuge – heck his years of subterfuge on this issue – are just the insult added to the injury.

Not only is Judge O’Connor’s ruling sound, not only is it based on claims Gruber’s co-conspirators in the Obama Administration argued in the US Supreme Court circa 2012, O’Connor’s ruling didn’t go far enough by exposing the flagrantly unconstitutional “Guaranteed Issue” mandate Obamacare imposed on insurance companies.

In fact, Gruber admits in his piece that he and his cronies stressed the integral part of the tax penalty.

We described the ACA as a three-legged stool,’ which struck down costly discrimination by health insurers in return for ensuring everyone that participated in the insurance market through a mandate. Compulsory coverage makes the benefit more affordable because the healthy and sick are pooled together.

And in that paragraph we see so much that exemplifies the statist, collectivist, consequentialist mindset it’s enough to turn the stomach and send one to the doctor.

Gruber has no problem mandating how others should live their lives. The principle of the “Golden Rule”, translated to, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” and “Do not do unto others as you would not have them do unto you,” is not only lost on him, he doesn’t even see “others” as equals. Others are pawns to be shoved around, told what to do, for his utopian goal of “bringing down costs”.

And guess what? Not only is it immoral, unethical, and unconstitutional to engage in that kind of behavior, his goals cannot be achieved through that kind of force. As I have noted previously, government-subsidized health care, like the Obamacare “marketplace” Gruber helped foist on us, ends up inspiring patients to over-utilize the system, raising expenses for the government. This leads to price caps on what the government will pay, which leads to doctors either shifting costs to those paying for their own care, or to doctors reducing the time and attention they put into each visit. This is precisely what happened in Vancouver when I lived there in 1996.

And if one focuses on the insurance industry outside of the Obamacare “marketplace” (what a disgusting euphemism), one sees that the imposition of “Guaranteed Issue” mandates on private insurance companies inspires young people to put off buying insurance until after they get sick. Not only is this not insurance (it’s government-mandated health coverage), this means that insurance companies will no longer see young, relatively healthy people voluntarily paying into the pool, which drives up rates. This happened in state after state in the 1990s when their legislatures imposed “Guaranteed Issue”. The “IRS penalty” Gruber and his pals put into Obamacare came because milquetoast GOP-ers who didn’t have the guts to stand up to Obamacare asked that the penalty be put in, to, as Gruber says, “mandate” that young-uns buy policies and shove their money in.

But Gruber and his buddies didn’t want one thing known.

They don’t want to stop with Obamacare. They want to impose a single-payer system, and so the penalty for not buying insurance was made lower than the cost of a private policy, thus incentivizing young people to wait, and raising rates for private policies.

Mr. Gruber’s disingenuousness is stunning.

But that’s just the beginning of the long train of abuses he would foist upon his neighbors. O’Connor was right. Gruber is wrong.

Gruber will win unless people educate themselves about the Constitution and economics.