The Spectacle Blog

Fool Me Once, Shame On You; Fool Me Twice, Shame on Me; Fool Me Thrice, Shame on Gruber

By on 7.28.14 | 3:58PM

As the fallout continues over last week’s Halbig decision by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, so does the walking back of words by Obamacare architect and MIT professor Dr. Jonathan Gruber. The case, which ended with a ruling that Obamacare subsidies can't be distributed in federal exchanges, has the potential to send the health care law into a death spiral. While the right-wing blogosphere celebrated, many on the left and Gruber himself were quick to deflect.

But now they may have an even bigger problem on their hands.

Before the release of contradictory video evidence, Gruber went on MSNBC to defend the law that he helped craft:

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Jonathan, was this a typo saying that only if you had a state exchange you could get a subsidy and therefore be required to participate or was it some significant policy decision not to include states that didn't have exchanges?

GRUBER: Chris, it unambiguously is a typo. Literally every single person involved in the crafting this law has said that they had no intention of excluding the federal exchanges.

A typo. While we speculated that Dr. Gruber may have believed that, it seemed a bit unlikely. But now there is reason to believe that he does not believe it either. As reported last week, Gruber previously admitted exactly what the plaintiffs argued about the IRS’s role in the exchange: the subsidies were intended only for state exchanges. A video shows these differences:

Fool me once, shame on you.

After the first video surfaced, Gruber, as reported by many media outlets, called the remark a misspeak. Valid point. Or not:

Fool me twice, shame on me.

Fool me thrice:

In the words of Joe Biden, this case has become a “big f@#$ing deal.”

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