The Corner

Another Democrat Berates Gruber, This Time over Obamacare Employer Mandate

Massachusetts congressman Stephen Lynch became the latest Democrat to pile on Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber this Tuesday. But while other Democrats excoriated the MIT professor for a series of offensive remarks about the passage of the law, Lynch took him to task over the substance of the Affordable Care Act itself.

The congressman asked Gruber to explain how Obamacare helps union employees of large companies, many of whom are refusing to re-up collective-bargaining agreements because of the employer mandate. 

“How do we help these employees?” he asked. “Because now they’re being told, ‘Go to the exchange, we don’t do that anymore. We’re out of the health-care business.’”

Gruber hastened to explain he’s not an expert on collective bargaining, but added that “there’s no reason these employers can’t provide affordable and comprehensive insurance under the provisions of the Cadillac tax.”

That didn’t sit well with the congressman. “Just so you know how this works,” he said, “if you’re bidding on a construction project and you have 49 employees, and I have 150, my bid includes $13 an hour for health care! Your bid is zero!”

“Now you say I can afford it!?” Lynch continued. “How do I win that bid, if for every man-hour on that job I have to put $13 an hour on my bid, and you can put zero and send your people to the exchange, or you’re not obligated to account for health care? How does that work?”

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