Last night Megyn Kelly showed a 2nd video of Obama architect Jonathan Gruber talking about how Obamacare passed because Americans are “too stupid”:
Clearly Gruber thinks he knows what’s best for us stupid Americans, just like Obama and Democrats believe they are our betters. So much so that they’d hide important information about a bill just to shove it down our throats.
Republicans have ammunition to fight this thing in the court of public opinion but so far I don’t see them doing much about it.
The hosts of “Fox & Friends” confronted Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) on Tuesday over one of the Obamacare architects’ controversial assertion that the health care law made it through Congress thanks to a “lack of transparency” and the “stupidity of the American voter.” The video of MIT professor Jonathan Gruber making the revealing comments at a University of Pennsylvania event in October of 2013 went viral this week.
King said he was unsure of what Gruber was talking about and made it clear he doesn’t “endorse those kinds of comments.” He then defended the way Obamacare was passed.
“Everybody knew that there were going to be additional taxes required to support the premiums under the Affordable Care Act. I don’t see it as any deep dark conspiracy,” he added.
“Really? Senator, he said he wasn’t transparent. He wasn’t telling the truth,” host Brian Kilmeade responded.
The senator then seemingly downplayed Gruber’s role in crafting Obamacare. King was not in the Senate when the law was voted on.
“Who was he? I don’t know where he was in the process,” King said.
When co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle argued Gruber’s comments confirm the American people were purposefully not informed that Obamacare would “tax and penalize” people, King went slightly off topic and stressed the importance of having insurance.
Wait a minute, wait a minute. Tax and penalize? Hold it, hold it, hold it,” King interjected. “We’ve got eight million people that have insurance now that didn’t before and don’t lecture me about this because 40 years ago, I had insurance. If I hadn’t had it, it caught a cancer that saved my life. If I hadn’t had insurance I’d be dead.”
“What does that have to do with it?” Kilmeade asked.
“It has to do with having insurance, man. If you don’t have insurance, it’s a high risk,” King shot back.
Confronted again with claims that Gruber’s remarks show “they lied about a health plan to the American people,” King asserted he was only “one guy” involved in the creation and passage of Obamacare. He then suggested the TV hosts believe “people shouldn’t have health insurance.”
“Are you that cruel? That is what you’re saying,” the senator added.
“Oh, my goodness,” a frustrated Kilmeade reacted.
Watch the video via Fox News below:
A third video has surfaced of Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber bragging about pulling the wool over the eyes of the American public in order to help implement Obamacare.
“It’s a very clever, you know, basic exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter,” Gruber, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said during a speech at the University of Rhode Island in November 2012.
He was discussing what is known as the Cadillac tax and how it came into being.
In an effort to add a cost-control measure to Obamacare, former Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, who Gruber called a “hero,” successfully pushed through a 40 percent excise tax on insurance companies for plans that cost more than $10,200 for individuals and $27,000 for families.
This was an alternative to putting a cap on tax breaks employers provide employees for health insurance plans, which, according to Gruber, the public mistook for a tax increase rather than the removal of a tax break.
“You just can’t get through, it’s just politically impossible,” Gruber said during his talk.
The purpose of the Cadillac tax is to force the “overinsured” – people with expensive health insurance plans – to cut back on “excess benefits.” Many economists believe that such plans cause inefficiencies in the health-care system. The Cadillac tax, which will be implemented in 2018, is projected to save $250 billion.
Gruber has made remarks before in which he espouses a dim view of the American public while discussing the deception behind passing both the Cadillac tax and Obamacare in general.
The first instance came to light on Sunday when a video was published showing Gruber telling a University of Pennsylvania health-care panel that Obamacare was “written in a tortured way” and that it passed, in part, because it was difficult to understand.
“Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical to get the thing to pass,” Gruber said at the November 2013 event.
The discoverer of the video was not a journalist or a political operative, but, rather, a financial planner who was one of the millions of Americans who lost his insurance plan last year despite President Obama’s pledge that “if you like your plan, you can keep it, period.”
Gruber, who was paid $400,000 to consult on Obamacare, backtracked from those remarks on MSNBC on Tuesday, saying that they were “off the cuff.”
But the randomness of Gruber’s remarks was cast into doubt Tuesday night when Fox News’ Megyn Kelly revealed a second video that also shows the professor discussing the Cadillac tax in a speech at Washington University in St. Louis in October 2013.
Gruber said that the kludge worked because “the American people are too stupid to understand the difference” between capping subsidies and taxing insurance companies.
The story about Rich Weinstein, an unknown investment advisor who poured through hours and hours of YouTube videos, radio interviews, and other media featuring Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber is both incredible and inspiring.
It is Weinstein who is responsible for ferreting out Gruber’s toxic comments about the “stupidity of the American people” and, more importantly, Gruber’s insistence that Obamacare subsidies were limited to state exchanges and should not be made available at the federal level.
A few days ago, Weinstein pulled a short clip from Gruber’s year-old appearance at a University of Pennsylvania health care conference. As a crowd murmured with laughter, Gruber explained that the process that created the ACA was, by necessity, obfuscated to pull one over on voters.
“This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure the CBO did not score the mandate as taxes,” said Gruber. “Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. Call it the stupidity of the America voter, or whatever.”
Weinstein’s scoop went around the world in a hurry. American Commitment, a conservative 501(c)(4) founded by Americans for Prosperity veteran Phil Kerpen, published the clip on its YouTube channel. Kerpen promoted it through tweets, which quickly became live coverage of the media outlets discovering Gruber.
The University of Pennsylvania actually pulled the clip for a few hours before a Tsunami of outrage forced them to put it back up.
Weinstein’s activism is the result of him losing his insurance in 2013:
Weinstein dates his accidental citizen journalism back to the end of 2013 and the first run of insurance cancellations or policy changes. He was among the people who got a letter informing him that his old policy did not meet ACA standards.
“When Obama said ‘If you like your plan, you can keep your plan, period’—frankly, I believed him,” says Weinstein. “He very often speaks with qualifiers. When he said ‘period,’ there were no qualifiers. You can understand that when I lost my own plan, and the replacement cost twice as much, I wasn’t happy. So I’m watching the news, and at that time I was thinking: Hey, the administration was not telling people the truth, and the media was doing nothing!”
So Weinstein, new plan in hand, started watching the news. “These people were showing up on the shows, calling themselves architects of the law,” he recalls. “I saw David Cutler, Zeke Emanuel, Jonathan Gruber, people like that. I wondered if these guys had some type of paper trail. So I looked into what Dr. Cutler had said and written, and it was generally all about cost control. After I finished with Cutler, I went to Dr. Gruber. I assume I went through every video, every radio interview, every podcast. Every everything.”
His second shot across the bow of Obamacare was an even bigger coup:
Weinstein dug and dug and eventually discovered the first Gruber quote, known in conservative circles as the “speak-o.” Gruber had been on TV arguing that the case against subsidies in non-exchange states was ludicrous. Yet at a January 2012 symposium, Gruber seemed to be making the conservatives’ argument. “What’s important to remember politically about this is if you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits – but your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill,” said Gruber. “So you’re essentially saying [to] your citizens you’re going to pay all the taxes to help all the other states in the country.”
The investment advisor e-mailed this around. Nobody cared. Nobody noticed the clip until after the D.C. circuit ruled 2-1 in favor of plaintiffs who were suing to stop the subsidies. Weinstein clicked around for articles about the decision, and left a comment on The Washington Post’s Volokh Conspiracy blog, pointing to the clip. In short order, Ryan Radia of the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute noticed the clip and promoted it. Within hours, Gruber’s “speak-o” had greatly muddied the liberal argument.
SCOTUS now has not only evidence of congressional intent to limit the subsidies, but also evidence that the people who wrote the law had the same intent. It’s going to be very hard for John Roberts to finesse this one, which probably means SCOTUS will uphold King and the subsidies gotten through the federal website will end.
That doesn’t mean the end of Obamacare. It is pssible that many states without exchanges will set them up to prevent the disruption in coverage for those in their states who got insurance through healthcare.gov. But Weinstein’s efforts have thrown a monkey wrench into Obamacare’s inner workings and whether the program can survive is open to question.
More than 214,000 doctors will not participate in new plans under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).
According to a survey conducted this year by the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), a trade association comprised of multi-physician medical practices, “as many as 214,524 American physicians will not be participating in any ACA exchange products.” Reasons abound as to why, but, “chief among them is the fact that exchange plans are more likely to offer significantly lower reimbursement rates than private market plans, confusion among consumers about the obligations associated with high deductibles, and fear that patients will stop paying premiums and providers will be unable to recover their losses”
This is a staggering number, considering the Kaiser Family Foundation reported there are 893,851 active physicians working in the United States.
A CBS News poll of 1,269 adults conducted October 23-27 found that 55 percent disapprove of the ACA, while only 36 percent support it.
Enough is enough, and it’s “time for government to stop going after religious colleges and ministries and start respecting religious liberty,” according to a spokesman for a legal team that on Tuesday won yet another case against the Obama administration over its Obamacare contraception mandate.
The comment came from Eric Baxter, senior counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which has been a key part of the battle against the Obamacare requirement that employers pay for birth control, including abortion-causing drugs.
This time a federal judge in Florida has ruled that the government’s latest revisions to the mandate still “don’t do enough to protect people of faith.”
The ruling came from Judge James Moody Jr. in a suit by Ave Maria University, which charged the Obamacare requirement violates the faith on which it operates.
The university was facing millions of dollars in fines, but won an injunction “protecting its right to stay true to its beliefs,” Becket said.
It was the first order preventing the government from enforcing its demands against religious organizations since it tried to solve the dispute in August with an”augmented rule.”
The judge explained the university wanted a preliminary injunction until the case is resolved.
“Defendants do not dispute that Ave Maria is a nonprofit Catholic university purposed with ‘educat[ing] students in the principles and truths of the Catholic faith.’ … One such element of the Catholic faith that Ave Maria holds and professes concerns the sanctity of life. Ave Maria ‘believes that each human being bears the image and likeness of God, and therefore any abortion – including through post-conception contraception – ends a human life and is a grave sin. Ave Maria also believes that sterilization and the use of contraception are morally wrong.’”
As it provides health coverage for workers, the problem arose with the adoption in 2010 of Obamacare, which demands “minimum essential coverage,” which it defines as including contraceptives.
The judge noted the 2013 “rule” allowing insurance companies to directly provide the benefits is not a satisfactory solution to objectors such as Ave Maria.
The Becket Fund has reported some 90 percent of all courts making related decisions have protected religious ministries from the heavy hand of a government.
“After dozens of court rulings, the government still doesn’t seem to get that it can’t force faith institutions to violate their beliefs,” Baxter said. “Fortunately, the courts continue to see through the government’s attempts to disguise the mandate’s religious coercion.”
The Alliance Defending Freedom, which has been active beside Becket in the dozens of cases against Obamacare, said there’s a close watch on the dispute.
Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman said: “Faith-based educational institutions should be free to live and operate according to the faith they teach and espouse. The court was right to uphold the religious freedom of institutions that value the sanctity of life. If the government can force Ave Maria School of Law to violate its faith in order to exist, then the government can do the same or worse to others.”
The Supreme Court has stepped in several times to suspend enforcement of the mandate provisions against a number of organizations.
WND reported on the summer’s 5-4 decision that a “closely held” for-profit business can opt out of Obamacare’s universal contraception requirement based on religious objections.
The case brought by Hobby Lobby, an Oklahoma-based arts and crafts chain with about 13,000 employees, and Conestoga Wood Specialties, a Pennsylvania cabinet maker, challenged the Affordable Health Care Act requirement that employees provide free contraception coverage, including abortion-inducing drugs.
Hobby Lobby’s argument was based on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or RFRA, which protects the individual beliefs of citizens.
The majority opinion by Justice Samuel Alito dismissed the Department of Health and Human Services argument that the companies cannot sue because they are for-profit corporations and that the owners cannot sue because the regulations apply only to the companies. Alito said that “would leave merchants with a difficult choice: give up the right to seek judicial protection of their religious liberty or forgo the benefits of operating as corporations.”
The opinion said the RFRA’s text “shows that Congress designed the statute to provide very broad protection for religious liberty and did not intend to put merchants to such a choice.”
Alito said “the purpose of extending rights to corporations is to protect the rights of people associated with the corporation, including shareholders, officers, and employees.”
“Protecting the free-exercise rights of closely held corporations thus protects the religious liberty of humans who own and control them.”
The question presented in the case was whether any law, such as a nationwide health-care management system imposed by the government, can be so important that Washington can order people to violate their religious faith, in contradiction to the freedom guaranteed by the First Amendment.
The religious objections to the contraception mandate raised by the Green family, owners of Hobby Lobby, and the Hahn family, owners of Conestoga Wood, have been raised in nearly 90 other cases.
Obamacare’s demands align with Obama’s longstanding support for abortion under any circumstances. He even argued, while a state senator in Illinois, against requiring doctors to provide live-saving help to babies who survive abortions.
A number of other cases challenge Obamacare on additional allegations of unconstitutionality.
In one, attorneys for Matt Sissel – a small-business owner who wants to pay medical expenses on his own and has financial, philosophical and constitutional objections to being ordered to purchase a health plan he does not need or want – charge the Obamacare bill was unconstitutionally launched in the U.S. Senate and is therefore invalid.
They noted that the Constitution requires all tax bills in Congress to begin in the House of Representatives. Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., they said, manipulated the legislation by taking the bill number for an innocuous veterans housing program that had been approved by the House, pasting it on the front of thousands of Obamacare pages and voting on it.
That means, they argued, that the entire law was adopted unconstitutionally and should be canceled, including its $800 billion in taxes.
The argument essentially makes the Constitution a silver bullet to kill Obamacare.
The case, brought by the Pacific Legal Foundation, is based on the Constitution’s Origination Clause.
The Affordable Care Act was supposed to make health care more affordable, but a newly released study of insurance policies before and after Obamacare shows that average premiums have skyrocketed, for some groups by as much as 78 percent.
Average insurance premiums in the sought-after 23-year-old demographic rose most dramatically, with men in that age group seeing an average 78.2 percent price increase before factoring in government subsidies, and women having their premiums rise 44.9 percent, according to a report by HealthPocket scheduled for release Wednesday.
The study, which was shared Tuesday with The Washington Times, examined average health insurance premiums before the implementation of Obamacare in 2013 and then afterward in 2014. The research focused on people of three ages – 23, 30 and 63 – using data for nonsmoking men and women with no spouses or children.
The premium increases for 30-year-olds were almost as high as for 23-year-olds – 73.4 percent for men and 35.1 percent for women – said the study, titled “Without Subsidies Women & Men, Old & Young Average Higher Monthly Premiums with Obamacare.”
“It’s very eye-opening in terms of the transformation occurring within the individual health insurance market,” said Kev Coleman, head of research and data at HealthPocket, a nonpartisan, independently managed subsidiary of Health Insurance Innovations in Sunnyvale, California.
“I was surprised in general to see the differences in terms of the average premiums in the pre-reform and post-reform markets,” Mr. Coleman said. “It was a higher amount than I had anticipated.”
The eye-popping increases among younger insurance buyers could be a problem for Obamacare’s long-term solvency given that young people are needed to offset the higher costs associated with older policyholders.
“Obviously they’re very important, and as much as they’re healthier, they tend to use health care less, so you want to try and have as many of those people enrolled as possible. And the cost for them went up very [steeply],” Mr. Coleman said.
The price increases for 63-year-olds were less dramatic: a 37.5 percent increase on average for women and 22.7 percent for men.
The study doesn’t include the federal premium subsidies offered to those earning between 100 and 400 percent of the federal poverty limit, but Mr. Coleman points out that not everyone in that bracket qualifies because their premiums must exceed a certain percentage of their income.
“So you still have this issue of health insurance rising for that very young group and, depending on where they are with respect to income and premium, they may not qualify for a subsidy,” Mr. Coleman said. “That’s what we like to refer to as a subsidy gap.”
The report also notes that somebody pays for the subsidy, even if it’s not the policyholder.
“Another important consideration in the discussion of subsidized premiums is that the subsidized portion of the premium still must be paid by the government through the money it collects from the nation,” says the study. “In other words, the subsidized costs of health insurance do not disappear but instead change payers.”
A spokeswoman with the Department of Health and Human Services declined to comment because she had not yet seen the report.
The reasons for the premium increases start with the ACA’s prohibition on rejecting applicants with pre-existing conditions, which means that insurance companies must account for the additional costs of covering chronically ill or disabled people.
Another cost driver is the heightened benefit mandate. The ACA requires insurance policies to include 10 “essential health benefits,” including pediatric dental and vision care, maternity care and newborn care, even for policyholders with no children or whose children are adults.
“If you’re expanding the services you’re covering, and you’re increasing the number of less healthy people in your risk pools, that’s going to increase costs,” Mr. Coleman said. “Attendant to that would be an increase in premiums to be able to appropriately cover those costs.”
He also noted that the study doesn’t weigh policies based on enrollment, meaning that it includes the costs of insurance plans that may have few enrollees.
The report examines premium costs from the two largest metropolitan areas of each state, using data from public insurance records obtained from the Department of Health and Human Services.
Over 22,000 Coloradoans have had their health insurance canceled by Obamacare in the past month – and 200,000 are slated to be shut down in 2015, the state insurance department announced Friday.
The Colorado Division of Insurance wrote to state Senate Republicans Friday, notifying them that five more insurance carriers have ended plans for 18,783 more Coloradoans in just the last month. By far, the most canceled plans will come from Humana Insurance Company and Humana Health Plan.
That brings the state’s Obamacare total to almost 340,000 canceled plans, according to Republican Rep. Cory Gardner, who’s in a tight race for Senate with incumbent Democrat Sen. Mark Udall.
“Coloradoans continue to pay the price for Senator Udall’s broken promise,” Gardner said in a statement Friday. “It’s unfortunate that Senator Udall has been so eager to please President Obama that he has forgotten thousands of Coloradoans across our state.”
Widespread Obamacare cancellations have been a political loser for Obamacare-supporters across the country, but the issue is especially fraught in Colorado.
Udall, who voted for Obamacare and made the same debunked promises as President Obama that Americans could keep their health insurance plans, took heat earlier this year when emails suggested that his office tried to interfere with a state analysis of the number of plans cancelled by Obamacare. He was cleared of wrongdoing by a panel that refused to document its hearing.
But while over 18,000 people will be losing their coverage this month, that’s nothing compared to next year.
The Obama administration said it would allow states to extend health care plans that aren’t compliant with Obamacare through the end of 2016 and pushed the political responsibility for deciding when the plans should be canceled onto state officials. Colorado decided to extend plans through Dec. 31, 2015 – the remaining 192,942 Coloradoans that still purchase non-complaint health plans will have those canceled next November.
Far from being an unknown glitch in the health-care law, the Affordable Care Act provision that outlaws certain insurance plans was in part intended to help drive healthier, previously-insured customers to Obamacare exchanges so that insurers’ pools of customers were less populated by people with a pent-up need for health care.
The Obama administration’s several administrative fixes, which allowed states to decide whether they’d allow insurers to keep offering the plans for up to three years, make it more difficult for insurers to be profitable in Obamacare exchanges. The changes were likely part of the administration’s reasoning in its decision to open the door to using taxpayer funding to bail out companies on the exchange who suffer losses on Obamacare exchanges.
Udall’s campaign said that the Senator had pushed for Colorado to extend canceled plans for another year.
“There’s nobody more upset about the bungled roll out of the health care law than Mark,” Udall spokesman James Owens said. “That’s why he pushed the governor to use the authority to allow folks to keep their plans.”
Under the Obama administration’s current policy, all noncompliant plans will be canceled by Dec. 2016.