A Lengthy Debate Is Useless If It Isn’t Honest.

by Jim Geraghty

President Obama, yesterday:

The fact that some advisor who never worked on our staff expressed an opinion that I completely disagree with in terms of the voters, is no reflection on the actual process that was run.

We had a year-long debate, Ed. I mean, go back and look at your stories.The one thing we can’t say is that we did not have a lengthy debate about health care in the United States of America, or that it was not adequately covered.

As the Washington Post notes, “Gruber is well-known in health-care circles as one of the intellectual godfathers of Obamacare and the very similar law in Massachusetts (sometimes called Romneycare)”, and was paid $400,000 by the Department of Health and Human Services. So Obama hides behind the fact that Gruber was a contractor; what’s more, if Gruber were not a central figure in the creation of Obamacare, why is he speaking at all of these health care industry conferences?

Obama insists the debate about Obamacare was “lengthy,” which is not the same as saying it was honest. In fact, that’s the point of Gruber’s controversial comment — that all of that lengthy debate included writing the bill ”in a tortured way to make sure the CBO did not score the mandate as taxes” in order to ensure that lengthy debate wasn’t an honest debate — because they knew they would lose an honest debate! “If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. Okay. So it was written to do that. In terms of risk-rated subsidies, if you had a law that said healthy people are going to pay in — if you made it explicit that healthy people pay in sick people get money it would not have passed. Okay.”

The Gruber/Obama philosophy is to lie to ensure that no one knows what is actually going to be enacted into law; thus the amount of time spent debating is moot. As he put it so bluntly, “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 in getting the thing to pass.”

It is not exculpatory to insist you spent a whole year lying to us.

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