By Marilyn M. Singleton, MD, JD
Lies and promises have been a staple of politics since its inception. As Plato observed, “propaganda, that is, ‘enticing people into a change of opinion by promises of pleasure’ and deceit always go together.”
ObamaCare’s empty promises have become not-so-funny household jokes: health law negotiations would be live on C-SPAN, if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor, the law will not add a single dime to the deficits, the average family will save $2,500 on their premiums, and on and on and on. Now the deceit has been exposed.
My heartfelt thanks go to Jonathan Gruber, Ph.D., MIT economics professor and a developer of the Affordable Care Act for speaking the ugly truth. The miracle of the internet has provided undeniable proof that the ACA was a scam perpetrated on the American public.
Gruber’s speeches in various venues confirm what many of us already knew: the ACA is a flawed, unreadable, misleading bill that garnered support based on propaganda and clever but false talking points.
Gruber’s Washington University of St. Louis lecture on October 4, 2013 to college students was a real eye-opener. In discussing how subsidies were critical to the success of health reform, Gruber revealed, “the dirty secret” that RomneyCare was paid for by the federal government to the tune of $450 million a year.
Since there was no other government coffer to tap to finance the ACA’s subsidies, multiple taxes are included in the law to generate revenue.
There is no question that we need a discussion and reform of inconsistencies in the tax code regarding employer versus individual payment of health insurance premiums. However, Gruber settled on imposing a 40 percent tax on high benefit Cadillac health plans.
Why? Because “Americans are too stupid to understand the difference” between a tax break and a tax.
Gruber crystallized his jaded views during a panel discussion at the Annual Health Economics Conference at the University of Pennsylvania’s Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics on October 17, 2013 Gruber said,
This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies… In terms of risk rated subsidies, if you had a law which made explicit healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed…
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 critical for the thing to pass.
Speaking at the University of Rhode Island on November 1, 2012, Gruber proudly said, “It’s a very clever, you know, basic exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter.” Gruber’s comments are reminiscent of another arrogant bully, Adolph Hitler: “The receptivity of the masses is very limited, their intelligence is small.”
And then the denials from the White House and the pro-ACA folks came in. House minority leader Nancy Pelosi said, “I don’t know who he is; he didn’t help write our bill.” However on November 5, 2009, she publicly referred to Gruber’s expertise while claiming the ACA would insure 36 million people and would bring down insurance rates.
President Obama dodged the question of whether he had met with Gruber by saying that Gruber was “some advisor who never worked on our staff.” His advice came with a $400,000 price tag.
In a June 13, 2012 PBS Frontline interview Gruber said, “I then worked with the Obama administration and Congress to help develop the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. . . The next time I see him [Obama] is summer 2009… We had a meeting in the Oval Office with several experts.” At the Washington University lecture, Gruber unambiguously stated, “I helped write the law.”
In Washington, D.C. truth has become a veritable unicorn. Brazen disrespect by elitist know-it-alls has become the norm. Let your congresspersons know you are not stupid. Ask them to repeal the ACA and support strategies that focus on patient choice and transparency of costs.
Dr. Marilyn M. Singleton, MD, JD is a board-certified anesthesiologist and member of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS).
While still working in the operating room, Dr. Marilyn Singleton attended UC Berkeley Law School, focusing on constitutional law and administrative law. She also interned at the National Health Law Program and has practiced both insurance and health law.
Dr. Marilyn Singleton has taught specialized classes dealing with issues such as the recognition of elder abuse and constitutional law for non-lawyers. She also speaks out about her concerns with Obamacare, the apology law and death panels.