Maine U.S. Sen. Angus King appeared not to know who Jonathan Gruber is when he went on “Fox & Friends” Tuesday morning to debate the Obamacare architect’s recently-revealed remarks that “the stupidity of the American voter” and a “lack of transparency” on the part of the Obama administration were crucial in getting the health law passed.
Gruber’s comments were made during a conference held at the University of Pennsylvania in Nov. 2013, but were revealed on Sunday. (RELATED: Obamacare Architect: Lack Of Transparency Was Key Because ‘Stupidity Of The American Voter’ Would Have Killed Obamacare)
“This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure [the Congressional Budget Office] did not score the mandate as taxes.
“If CBO scored it as taxes, the bill dies. So it was written to do that. In terms of subsidies, to get a law that said healthy people will pay in if sick people get money, it would not have passed,” said Gruber, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Critics of Obamacare pounced on Gruber’s remarks, saying they finally showed the true intent behind Obamacare, which, critics say, the administration has gone to great lengths to hide.
“Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage,” Gruber continued. “And basically call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical to getting the thing to pass.” (RELATED: Gruber: I Regret Calling American People ‘Stupid’)
The hosts of “Fox & Friends” asked King for his response, but the Maine Independent appeared not to realize who Gruber is.
“Everybody knew there would be additional taxes required to support the premiums under the Affordable Care Act,” King said. “I don’t see it as any deep dark conspiracy.”
“He said he wasn’t transparent. He wasn’t telling the truth,” host Brian Kilmeade responded.
“Who was he? I don’t know where he was in the process,” said King.
“He wrote it!” said Kilmeade.
“He’s the architect of Obamacare,” co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle interjected.
Gruber helped design the Massachusetts health law on which Obamacare is based. The Obama administration paid him $400,000 to consult on the construction of the federal law.
Apparently stumped, King switched the subject to defend the end result of the health law rather than grapple with the means by which it was implemented.
“This is one guy. I don’t know who this guy was. All I know is it’s important for people to have health insurance. If you guys are saying people shouldn’t have health insurance, I don’t know where you’re coming from,” said King.
This is not the first time an old video has come back to bite Gruber. Earlier this year, remarks Gruber made in 2012 surfaced in which he tells an audience that tax credits for Obamacare can only be given to people who live in states that have set up exchanges. The administration has denied the law is set up that way. The issue is set to be considered by the U.S. Supreme Court. (RELATED: Obamacare Architect Argued Years Ago That States Without Exchanges Can’t Get Subsidies)
In another setback for Obamacare, the Department of Health and Human Services announced on Monday it is lowering its projection for health insurance sign-ups to between 9 million and 9.9 million through 2015. That is down from initial projections of 13 million.