The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller

Obamacare Architect Says AGAIN That Subsidies Were Only Supposed To Go To State Exchanges

Sarah Hurtubise
Contributor

While Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber has brushed aside a video of himself arguing that Obamacare subsidies are only allowable in state-run exchanges as a "speak-o" -- or verbal typo -- a second audio tape has now emerged of Gruber making the very same comments yet again.

Obamacare Architect Claims Comments Were Just A ‘Typo’

12:26 PM 07/25/2014

After a video surfaced of a chief Obamacare architect taking a hit at the legality of Obamacare subsidies in federal exchanges, the expert in question is claiming he just made another "typo." "I honestly don't remember why I said that," MIT economist Jonathan Gruber told The New Republic's Jonathan Cohn. "I was speaking off-the-cuff. It was just a mistake." Gruber, hired by the Obama administration to help create the Affordable Care Act, worked closely with Congress to actually draft the law. A video surfaced late Thursday night of Gruber stating in a 2012 presentation that the health care law intentionally did not allow premium subsidies to states with federally-run exchanges in order to pressure more states into building their own marketplaces. (RELATED: Obamacare Architect Argued Years Ago That States Without Exchanges Can't Get Subsidies) The question of federal subsidies has been the subject of two conflicting federal court decisions this week, making it all the more likely the Supreme Court will end up hearing the case. The case centers around Obamacare's repeated statement that premium subsidies are eligible to exchanges "established by the state." (RELATED: Federal Court Takes Down Obamacare: Subsidies In Federal Exchange Are Illegal)  "The federal government has been sort of slow in putting out its backstop [exchange], I think partly because they want to sort of squeeze the states to do it," Gruber told an audience at Noblis, a nonprofit technology organization, in 2012. "I think 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 Gruber -- who has vocally supported the Obama administration in the several lawsuits pending against federal exchange subsidies -- is now saying that like Congress did in writing the statute, he just misspoke. "People make mistakes. Congress made a mistake drafting the law and I made a mistake talking about it," Gruber told Cohn. "My subsequent statement was just a speak-o -- you know, like a typo." Gruber noted as proof that his economic models of the Affordable Care Act have assumed that subsidies are applied to all states. "At this time, there was also substantial uncertainty  about whether the federal backstop would be ready on time for 2014," Gruber explained. "I might have been thinking that if the federal backstop wasn't ready by 2014, and states hadn't set up their own exchange, there was a risk that citizens couldn't get the tax credits right away." Since strong court cases emerged against the way the Obama administration is doling out taxpayer subsidies for premiums, Gruber (and countless other Obamacare supporters) has argued that the statement in question is just a "drafting error." The economist's older comments suggest not only that the phrase in question -- repeated nine times throughout the text of the Affordable Care Act -- could restrict subsidies to state-run exchanges, but also may assign an intent to use the restriction to convince states to step up and build an exchange. Follow Sarah on Twitter

Obamacare Architect Argued Years Ago That States Without Exchanges Can’t Get Subsidies

10:21 AM 07/25/2014

One of Obamacare's authors said in 2012 that states that don't set up their own Obamacare exchanges can't offer residents subsidies, throwing heavy weight behind the argument that the billions in subsidies to federally-run exchanges are illegal.

Colorado Obamacare Chief Leaving Health Exchange For Top Insurer

9:29 PM 07/24/2014

The head of Colorado's Obamacare exchange is leaving at the end of the month to work with private exchanges at a top health insurance company, the exchange announced Thursday.

Twice As Many Americans Say Obamacare’s Hurting Them As Say It’s Helping

4:40 PM 07/23/2014

The number of Americans that Obamacare's hurting is double the amount it's helping, according to a Wednesday CNN poll

Federal Investigators Got Obamacare Subsidies With Fake Identities, Documentation

12:34 PM 07/23/2014

In a federal test of the Obamacare application system, investigators who submitted fake identities were awarded Obamacare subsidies 11 times out of 12, according to the General Accountability Office.

Obama Administration Changing Birth Control Mandate Exemption After Court Loss

11:03 AM 07/23/2014

The Obama administration will release a revamped religious exemption for Obamacare's mandate to provide contraceptives to employees at no cost, senior officials said Tuesday evening.

Second Federal Court Rushes To Save Obamacare From Devastating Ruling

1:41 PM 07/22/2014

A second federal court ruled Tuesday that Obamacare subsidies in federal exchanges are in fact legal, just hours after the D.C. Circuit Court ruled just the opposite.

White House To Ignore Court Ruling, Keep Handing Out Obamacare Subsidies

12:25 PM 07/22/2014

The Obama administration will continue handing out Obamacare subsidies to federal exchange customers despite a federal court's ruling Tuesday that the subsidies are illegal.

Federal Court Takes Down Obamacare: Subsidies In Federal Exchange Are Illegal

11:33 AM 07/22/2014

A federal court ruled Tuesday that Obamacare premium subsidies are illegal for all customers in the federal exchange -- the vast majority of all the health care law's enrollees.

Florida’s Largest Obamacare Insurer: Rate Hikes Coming In 2015

5:43 PM 07/21/2014

Florida's largest health insurer is likely requesting rate hikes for Obamacare plans in 2015 due to "tremendous financial pressure" in the health care exchange, the company's CEO said Monday.

Republicans Launch New Hillary Attack: PoorHillaryClinton.com

12:12 PM 07/21/2014

The Republican National Committee launched PoorHillaryClinton.com Monday to attack the Democrat for claiming that she and Bill struggled financially after leaving the White House.

Maryland Obamacare Exchange Flop Will Force Thousands To Re-enroll

7:36 PM 07/18/2014

Maryland's failed first try at its Obamacare exchange will force most of its 72,000 sign-ups to completely re-enroll in coverage for 2015. 

Insurer Drops New York Medicaid Coverage For 53,000 Over Unsustainable Losses

2:29 PM 07/18/2014

Blue Cross Blue Shield in New York is dropping out of the state's Medicaid program due to serious financial losses, dropping 53,000 New Yorkers from coverage.

The Obama Admin Just Exempted US Territories From Obamacare

6:11 PM 07/17/2014

The Obama administration issued yet another waiver to get out of Obamacare -- for all the U.S. territories. 

Second-Highest Court Boosts Another Lawsuit Against The Employer Mandate Delay

3:45 PM 07/17/2014

A U.S. appeals court will hear oral arguments from a large employer's lawsuit against President Obama's unilateral Obamacare employer mandate delay, leaving the case just one step away from the Supreme Court.

Top Insurance Company UnitedHealth Doing Better Than Expected Under Obamacare

1:53 PM 07/17/2014

UnitedHealth Group, one of the country's largest insurance companies, announced better-than-expected profits as a result of the health-care law Thursday.

Tennessee, Louisiana Added To the List Of States Getting Double-Digit Obamacare Premium Hikes

6:17 PM 07/16/2014

Obamacare customers in Tennessee and Louisiana are now a part of the growing list of Americans who are facing double-digit premium hikes in the wake of the health care law. 

Senate Dems Fail To Overturn Supreme Court Hobby Lobby Ruling

3:26 PM 07/16/2014

Democratic Senators' attempt to nullify the Supreme Court's ruling in Hobby Lobby and force religious employers to pay for every type of contraceptive coverage required by Obamacare failed to pass a cloture vote Wednesday.