It’s been a tough month for the president. After his party was soundly defeated in the midterm elections, he was immediately forced to confront a devastating blow to his signature healthcare law. Videos leaked showing Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber claiming that the bill had to be obscure, confusing, and vague, because the “stupidity of the American voter” would have never allowed it to pass otherwise.
Now Obama is addressing the videos for the first time. “The fact that an adviser who was never on our staff expressed an opinion that I completely disagree with in terms of the voters is not a reflection on the actual process that was run,” the president said in Brisbane. “I think it’s fair to say there was not a provision in the health care law that was not extensively debated and was fully transparent — it was a tough debate.”
The president may be trying to distance his administration from Gruber, but the fact remains that the MIT professor had a decided hand in ironing out the details of the Affordable Care Act. He may not have been a staffer as such, but he was most certainly on the Obama payroll. According to Politico, official records show that he visited the White House at least a dozen times between 2009 and today.
Furthermore, his contention that the Obamacare debate was handled with honesty and transparency defies the record. Long before the average American knew who Jonathan Gruber was, we knew that the president’s healthcare law had been sold on a foundation of half-truths, best-case-scenarios, and outright lies:
—- If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep it – That turned out to be a blatant lie. Millions of Americans have been forced to change their coverage plans in the wake of the bill’s passage.
—- If you like your doctor, you’ll be able to keep him – Another lie. To keep costs down on the exchanges, insurance companies have been forced to dramatically limit their provider networks. Sure, you can keep your doctor, but it might cost you a fortune to do so.
—- We’ll get premiums lowered by as much as $2,500 per typical American family – This is one of those subtle half-truths that really mean nothing at all. Any time a politician starts using terms like “as much as” or “up to,” turn on the flashing yellow lights. Unfortunately, premiums have gone up significantly for many Obamacare customers.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Obama and the Democrats made a slew of promises and predictions about the healthcare law that have turned out to be either lies or errors. Claims that the law would not affect Medicare, that it would only strengthen the policies of insured Americans, that it would not be a tax, that it would not increase the deficit, and that it would mean universal coverage for every American have all been proven false. Obama is desperate to put daylight between himself and Gruber; what he should really worry about are his own words.